In a comedy film titled The Big Wedding you wouldn’t be thought of as crazy to expect at least one of two things: a big wedding and/or some good jokes. If this is what you’re expecting then you are in for a major shock by the time the end credits begin to roll.

At the centre of The Big Wedding is Alejandro’s (Ben Barnes) marriage to Missy (Amanda Seyfried). Alejandro is adopted and his biological mother is a devout Catholic, therefore when it is announced that the biological mother is to attend the wedding Alejandro’s adopted parents, Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton), are forced to pretend that they are still married, despite the fact they have been divorced for over ten years. Oh the fun that could come from this, right? Wrong!

The film opens with a quite misguided attempt at humour as we are introduced to the three main(?) characters, Don, Ellie and Don’s new girlfriend/Ellie’s best friend, Bebe (Susan Sarandon). The majority of backstory is thrown out of the window early on as the film focusses on introducing the main characters, trying to use humour to get the audience on side: there are no funny moments in this opening sequence, nor in Alejandro and Missy’s meeting with the vicar (Robin Williams), nor in Lyla’s (Katherine Heigl) introduction. You can just about force a laugh when Alejandro’s virgin brother (Topher Grace) is introduced.

The Big Wedding seems to be an experiment as to how much recycled comedy you can put into one film: the storyline seems to be very 80s style humour, the characters have all been seen before and offer nothing new to the storyline, and almost every story beat is predictable, despite how unpredictable the writer/director thinks he is being. Add all of this to the fact that almost none of the characters are really likeable then you know what you’re in for: an hour and a half of wishing the movie is going to take one almighty twist in which the wedding gets attacked by a nuclear weapon. This, unfortunately, never happens.

Early on there seem to be some promising aspects with Heigl and Grace’s interaction being the main source of genuine laughs but this soon fades away and is forgotten about as they have very little interaction at all after the first twenty minutes. A lot of the time, even in a bad comedy you can see what the film is attempting to do, you can see the potential. There isn’t even any real smidge of potential here, however.

The characters are, on the whole, very unlikeable; the plot is completely predictable for the most part; the acting is very poor, in particular Ben Barnes, while Amanda Seyfried is completely wasted in a nothing role; and the dialogue feels horribly forced and back to front.

The Big Wedding tries so hard to load in multiple story lines and in a last ten minutes that feels so rushed, these story lines are given very little time to come to natural solution and the films seems to jerk awkwardly towards the finishing line: this makes The Big Wedding, in actuality, seem more like a big waste of money.

My Rating: 3/10.

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