The lady laughing her head off at the screening of “The Big Wedding” must have been in a tickle fight with her neighbor, because nobody else was laughing as hard as she was at the movie she should have been watching.
Let’s face facts, folks: the laugh-free “Big Wedding” is a great big flop. The movie has the look, the feel and the stink of a film that has been shelved for a long period of time (it was originally supposed to be released last October), and it often feels like big chunks are missing from the cut that finally made its way to theaters. Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace and Robin Williams have all made bad movies in their day, but this is the first time they have all done it collectively.
Desperation clings to this movie something fierce. The ads make “The Big Wedding” look like a farce, but this is either the laziest farce in history or writer/director Justin Zackham truly has no idea how to properly structure one. This is a movie with plenty of farcical potential, and yet it just lies there, waiting for its long-seeming 89 minutes to expire and release the poor saps who paid money to see their favorite stars interact back into the wild.
The titular gathering is meant to be the happy-go-lucky nuptials of characters played by Seyfried and Ben Barnes, with the rest of the cast gathering to bicker, sleep around, spill secrets and get shnockered. It’s a sign of the movie’s laziness that most of the gags revolve around binge drinking, projectile vomit and a couple of funny pugs. Anyone sucked in by the cast can expect a lot of unlikely developments between De Niro, Sarandon and Keaton, as well as a couple offensive stereotypes involving characters from Colombia and at least two actors who appear to have prepped for their roles by falling asleep at the tanning salon.
What a disappointment it is to see so many talented actors sell their talent short in a movie like this. Surely you have better ways to spend your Saturday than at a tedious get-together with these hapless schmucks.
★ out of ★★★★
Rated R for strong language and a skinny dipping scene. 89 minutes, 2013.
Director: Justin Zackham. Starring: Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton.
Read all of Jesse Hoheisel’s reviews at AFistfulofPopcorn.com.