The Big Wedding a new film written and directed by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) was a spectacle that is hard to peg down. There was charm. There was heart. There were plenty of laughs. There were also a lot of fails.
First, the movie made light of the Catholic Church to a degree that made me uncomfortable. In the interest of full disclosure I am Catholic. While I understand that the Church is in some ways easy to make fun of, and while I fully support being able to laugh at one self, the movie took it to a new level. Some of the jokes were funny. Some were just in bad taste. It seems to me that the Catholic religion is beginning to establish itself as a mainstream laughing stock – something it doesn’t really deserve.
There was also the matter of Robin Williams as the priest. Williams thankfully did not play Robin Williams this time and did give a spectacular performance (excusing the first 3 min or so). However there is there is a certain jovial, irreverent, and comedic connotation that cannot be separated from his appearance. One that does not fit a priest and thus his casting kept me slightly unsettled throughout the movie.
There was also the almost constant crude and irreverent humor. I can appreciate the occasional well-timed crude or irreverent joke, even the frequent. This movie, however, was chock full of crude and irreverent humor to the point that it just got a bit tiring. Similarly, the movie sent a message that cheating, and one night stands, are completely run of the mill – no big deal. Really? Please.
I hope I haven’t lost too many people with my criticisms because there were the redeeming qualities. There was a really nice storyline surrounding the family oak tree. The movie was, in many ways very charming, and it was able to capture the sense of community within a family very well. The cast, by and large, was wonderful and did the best you could expect with the sub-par script. Overall, it wasn’t a bad hour and a half – though don’t expect fireworks.
One last thing, can someone explain to me what exactly went down between Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon’s characters because their friendship made no sense what so ever?