Unlike the most of the country, we decided to escape our own family drama with the big screen version, taking in Rachel Getting Married over the Thanksgiving weekend. The box office report indicates that everyone else caught Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in their new comedy Four Christmases, which grossed a healthy $46.7m over the five-day period. (Rounding out the top five was Twilight, $39.52m; Bolt, $36.01m; Quantum of Solace, $28.13m; and Australia, $20m.)
But back to Rachel Getting Married. We had read only positive reviews for the Jonathan Demme/Anne Hathaway vehicle. We had heard the Oscar buzz Hathaway has been generating for her daring crossover from popcorn princess to indie bad girl. Plus we’re big fans of Demme’s previous work, which includes flicks like Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia. It seemed like a no-brainer.
So why did we almost follow suit when over seven people got up and left our not-so-crowded theater?
1. We get what he was trying to do, but Demme’s use of handheld cameras gave us Blair Witch-style motion sickness.
2. The wedding band plays in the background throughout most of the film, which is pleasant at first but becomes completely irritating after 30 minutes.
3. The cinéma vérité approach to dialogue (courtesy of Jenny Lumet, Sidney’s daughter) means that some characters repeat themselves — like your extended family would at a real wedding.
4. There are several annoying plot holes. Without spoiling anything: that rogue kiddie plate, Debra Winger’s lack of black eye, the elephant decor, that random Neil Young song. A lot of things just don’t add up, and as this is meant to be super realistic, they tend to stick out more.
5. Enduring a really long wedding weekend without ingesting any alcohol is never a good idea — especially when you’re not allowed to leave until the morning after.