Tag Archive: robin williams


The Big Wedding Review

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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He is considered by many to be one of the greatest directors of the modern world and by the time he eventually retires his name will undoubtedly be up there with the all time true greats of film making. By comic book fans he is thought of as the man who saved Batman from it’s earlier embarrassments in the cinema and Warner Bros. now have him producing Man of Steel, the new Superman movie, in hope that he can bring another hero back from the cinema dead zone. However, Christopher Nolan does have his haters, but why? Is he really THAT good?

Without exception every single one of the feature length films directed by Christopher Nolan has been a critical success. Whether it be the small scale Memento or the huge big budget summer blockbuster that is Inception, Nolan never fails to impress the critics. Nolan has been nominated for three Oscars (one for directing, another two for writing) and despite not yet winning the award he is being recognised by his peers as one of the best directors around.

Nolan’s writing prides itself upon it’s mysteries. Memento was something new, something brilliant. And the mystery was kept going by the fact that the film played out backwards and nobody, not even the main character, knew what was going on. The Prestige had a fantastic shock ending that nobody had predicted upon first watch, yet when watching again it becomes clear that Nolan has left some clues along the way for any viewer intelligent enough to spot them. All the while, Nolan is teaching the arts of a magic trick whilst creating his own in The Prestige at the same time. The essence of mystery is something Nolan followed through with Inception and I think everyone who left the cinema after seeing Inception got confused at least once whilst watching and the ending still causes arguments a couple of years on (even though it is pretty clear what the ending actually is if you look for the clues).

However, one of Nolan’s biggest downfalls is his writing of female characters. This is a criticism that is levelled at the director again and again, upon the release of every one of his films and audiences have a point. The female characters in Nolan’s films have very little purpose but to act as plot devices and have an effect on the main character; in themselves they have little story and virtually no development. Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige is a good example of this and Ariadne in Inception too, along with the women in his Batman films. There really seems no need for them to be there and they add next to nothing to the story. With the inclusion of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises it seems maybe Nolan is trying to prove that he can write a captivating female character to compete with the men of his films.

It has been said that Nolan gets the best out of all the actors he works with, but look at the people he has worked with: Guy Pearce, Al Pacino, Robin Williams, the brilliant Hilary Swank, Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine… the list goes on. Point is, every one of the aforementioned actors was already established and thought of as a very good, if not some of the best, performers at the time. Even I could have made a film with Michael Caine and Leonardo DiCaprio and got good performances from them because they are already brilliant actors! Nolan doesn’t seem to challenge himself, but then again, if you can work with the best around then you’re going to do that and who can really blame him.

As briefly mentioned earlier, Christopher Nolan has brought a new life and new energy to an otherwise dead and buried franchise in the form of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the latter being described as one of the best films of all time. It may be a stretch but Nolan could be seen as the saviour of comic book films. Before him, of course, there was already Spider-Man and X-men that had been successful but Nolan showed what successes comic book movies have the potential to be.

Whether you like him or not nobody with a sensible view on movies can argue that Christopher Nolan is not a good director. His films are among the best of modern cinema and he is definitely one of my top three directors of all time. With The Dark Knight Rises coming out this year it seems certain that Nolan is set to rise yet again and receive even more praise as he brings the curtain down on one of the best trilogies of all time.

The hype surrounding this man is definitely justified.