Welcome everyone to the month of May! Which I have now lovingly dubbed May Marriage Month in honor of my friends and The Nerd Realm colleagues Brandon Lias and Shaila Meeker who will be getting married in June. But wait! Some of you might be saying, isn’t June the month of the most marriages AND isn’t June when Brandon and Shaila are getting married? Why not make June marriage month?! Well because not only are they getting married in June, but also that is the month that we will be moving into our new place and I am going to be a lazy asshole on this one, don’t judge me! So in order to start off this lovely month of marital bliss, I am going to talk about a movie that I would like my memory to file a divorce against so I never have to think of it again, the 2013 flop, The Big Wedding. Complete with a star-studded cast that included the likes of Robert De Niro, fresh off his success with the movie Silver Lining’s Playbook, as well as Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, and Robin ‘what is that man’s fascination with catholic priests’ Williams this film had all of the talent and none of the charisma needed to keep a flat and contrived script a float.
The Big Wedding is the story naturally of a wedding and is between Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and his fiance Missy (Amanda Seyfried). Of course, as most of these movies are concerned both family have their share of interesting characters which really make up the heart and soul of this movie. We have Alejandro’s adopted family which includes Don Griffin (Robert De Niro) a former chain-smoking alcoholic and his divorced wife Ellie (Diane Keaton) who came in for her son’s wedding. You have Alejandro’s brother Jared (Topher Grace) who is a 29-year-old doctor/virgin whose plot point is about as subtle as a baseball bat to the face. You also have Alejandro’s sister Lyla (Katherine Heigl) who due to medical reasons cannot have children… So we all know where her story is going as well. Then you have Missy’s family who is really only their to be racists and Alejandro’s biological family from Colombia which includes the extremely religious mother Madonna (Patricia Rae) and his promiscuous sister Nuria (Ana Ayora) who is there as a plot point for Jared and to ramp up the tits and ass of the movie.
So naturally I do not feel like I need to expand too much on the plot here. But let me some it up in a few quick sentences. Madonna is against the mere concept of divorce so Don and Ellie need to pretend to not be divorced, Nuria wants to fuck the virgin Jared, Don’s love interest gets pissy, and Katherine Heigl’s character gets knocked up.
It has been a long time since I have seen such a large group of A-List actors in a movie where they collectively do not give a rat’s ass about what’s going on. I do not know if these actors owed Justin Zackham, Lionsgate, or the producers a favor or if they really needed to collect a paycheck. At least the latter I can understand for Grace and Heigl who have not put out anything noteworthy in the past 3-4 years. But come on! Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon! These are huge names! Surely they have more tact to know a stinker when they see one.
Whatever these people’s reasons remains unclear, but I can say with a great deal of certainty that these very talented actors and actresses are very much phoning it in. I suppose the collective idea behind the cast was ‘Eh, we can take a ten week vacation and do a little work on the side. I’ll collect a paycheck and then go do something that will actually mean something in my career.’ All things considered, I guess a hit to your career is worth it.
Filled with Clichéd ‘Wedding’ Jokes
So let’s play a game! It is called The Wedding Movie checklist! Let’s see how many clichés we can check off of the list.
Cheesy Rehearsal Dinner: Check
Pre Maritial Fight: Check
Parents of Bride and Groom Do Not Get Along: Check
Third Act Turmoil: Check
People Fucking: Check
Congrats! You got everything on the damn list! I understand, these usually come with a wedding. It is dramatic and beautiful and bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I am also sure that if anyone has ever experienced a wedding has experienced one or more of these things and can relate to them. But I want to see more from a movie then a bunch of damn wedding clichés. Hell, I’ll even accept a few wedding clichés if you just bring a little original material. But this does not happen! It is one giant walking ball of bullshit cliches and jokes that you can get from much better movies.
Characters are Poorly Written One off Cartoon Premises
There is no emotion in any of these characters, there is no substance. There is nothing to these constructs accept the role that they play in the movie. They do not feel like people or a family who are coming together for a wedding. They feel like cartoon characters written with only one goal in mind, to solve their problem. Jared is a virgin, he needs to not be a virgin, problem solved. Lyla can’t have children, the miracle of having a child happens, problem solved. Alejandro and Missy are getting married, Alejandro’s mom is catholic, thus problem. Missy’s parents are extraordinarily racist, thus problem. Lie to the mom and tell the parents to fuck off, problem solved. Don and Ellie got a divorce, now the new woman Bebe has arrived. They need to work out their marital issues, problem solved.
I just summed up the whole movie and who these characters are in one paragraph. Don’t waste your time with the eighty-nine minute run time, after you read that paragraph you now know the story and not wasted an hour and a half of your life that this critic will not get back.
There is No Balance
This is one of the most important parts of a movie, especially one that is supposed to be a comedy/drama. You need to be able to balance between the comedic aspects of the film and also let the dramatic moments happen. That is not to say that it has to be a 50/50 split, but you need to be able to work with tone. This movie does not let dramatic moments happen. If they do, it is quickly followed with comedy or shuffled on to the next cliché. Moments like when Lyla is on the diving board and her father who clearly cares for her comes out to try to cheer her up is quickly counteracted with shoving the ‘we have to pretend we are married’ plot premise into our faces and Don falling into the pool.
What’s worse is that the dramatic scenes in this film such as Don’s heartfelt speech, Lyla learning she is going to have a child, and so forth feel very out of place.All things considered, this movie feels more along the lines of a middle-aged persons version of Wedding Crashers. It has the goofy jokes that include middle-aged people talking about cunnilingus, a family of unapologetic racist blue bloods, vomit jokes, and so forth. It is so goofy in its middle-aged humor that any moment that feels heavily dramatic feels like you are stepping into a completely different movie. Tone will shift so drastically that you will have to go to a doctor for whiplash that the shift is sure to give you.
This movie is absolutely terrible. It is clichéd, the characters are a bunch of one-off premises to push the contrived plot along, it is poorly balanced, and there isn’t a soul on this project that took the time to care about this movies existence. It is understandable why this movie was completely forgotten movies of 2013. The Big Wedding is only spared from a zero rating because I just couldn’t conjure up enough energy to care enough to hate it.
Final Score 0.5/5
Thank you for reading and as always like and subscribe for more from me. The first week of Marriage Month is down and there are still four more to go. Please go to our new parent site The Nerd Realm to see more from myself, Shaila Meeker, and Brandon Lias.