THE BIG WEDDING comedy with Robert De Niro & Robin Williams Sat June 29 @ 8:30 FREE! plus After Party!
ALL STAR CAST!!
Robert De Niro
With an all-star cast led by Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, THE BIG WEDDING is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a full blown family fiasco. To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (De Niro and Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son's wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present and future - and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process. Screenplay by Justin Zackham. Directed by Justin Zackham.
THE BIG WEDDING
By Alonso Duralde
If you were shying away from “The Big Wedding” because (a) it has the word “wedding” in the title; (b) the cast includes Katherine Heigl and/or (c) the cast also includes Robin Williams as a Catholic priest providing marriage counseling, thus calling to mind his similar role in the wince-inducing “License to Wed,” well … those are all actually valid points, come to think of it.
Still, in its defense, it’s worth noting that this farce is funnier (and naughtier) than it has any right to be, and that Heigl gives her most winning performance in years -- precisely because she’s playing a rage-filled character and not a simpering romantic lead.
Even Williams dials it down a notch or 10 and plays well with the film’s staggeringly all-star cast, all of whom do the heavy lifting to make it entertaining.
Writer-director Justin Zackham, adapting the French comedy “Mon frère se marie,” establishes its R-rated credentials early on, with Ellie (Diane Keaton) accidentally walking in on her ex-husband Donald (Robert De Niro) as he’s about to begin orally pleasuring his longtime girlfriend Bebe (Susan Sarandon). Ellie has returned for the wedding of her and Donald’s adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”) to lifelong friend and neighbor Missy (Amanda Seyfried).
As in any farce or big family occasion, there are plenty of mini-dramas going on besides Ellie and Donald’s awkward reunion; their daughter Lyla (Heigl) has just kicked out her husband (Kyle Bornheimer), while their son Jared (Topher Grace) is a 29-year-old doctor still holding out to lose his virginity to his true love.
On top of that, Missy’s WASPy parents (Christine Ebersole and David Rasche) clearly have issues with their daughter marrying a Colombian.
Compounding the craziness is the impending arrival of Alejandro’s biological mother Madonna (Patricia Rae), visiting the U.S. for the first time. Alejandro worries that her intense Catholicism will make her object to his adoptive parents’ divorce, so he asks Ellie and Donald to pretend like they’re still married until the wedding is over. (Along for the ride is Ana Ayora as Alejandro’s sister Nuria, who seems like she might be the perfect candidate to end Jared’s dry spell.)
Once the plates start spinning, the presence of so many old pros injects a great deal of life into “The Big Wedding.” Shockingly, this is the first time Sarandon has worked with either Keaton or De Niro, but the three of them mesh beautifully, fully convincing as a trio of old friends (Ellie and Bebe were best pals before Bebe and Donald hooked up) and carting in lots of characterization that would be otherwise lacking in Zackham’s rote screenplay. (His major previous credit was writing the hoary “The Bucket List.”