A few clouds

Winnipeg, MB

21°c A few clouds

Full Forecast

Movies

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

If you're invited to this wedding, RSVP 'no'

Posted: 04/26/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 04/26/2013 9:14 AM | Updates

Advertisement

  • Print

Blame it on the Fockers.

After the critical and commercial success of Meet the Parents, Robert De Niro tried to milk laughs from lesser comedies. But certain things can't be milked. It's nearly tragic to see America's Greatest Living Actor on the guest list for The Big Wedding, the latest limp comedy about seniors behaving badly.

Although the title implies that this is a sentimental, special-occasion comedy like New Year's Eve (an all-star fiasco from which De Niro emerged relatively unscathed), it's more like a crass kinsman who pukes in the punchbowl. In his first scene, De Niro upchucks a half-dozen slang terms for oral sex, and it goes downhill from there.

De Niro plays Don, an inexplicably affluent sculptor who bungled his marriage to Ellie (Diane Keaton). After a 10-year spiritual odyssey overseas, Ellie returns for the wedding of their adopted Colombian son Alejandro (miscast British actor Ben Barnes) at the big lakeside home that Don now shares with Ellie's former friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon).

Three days before Alejandro is due to marry Melissa (romantic-comedy kiss of death Amanda Seyfried), he requests that his adoptive parents pretend to be married again for the benefit of his strictly Catholic biological mother, Madonna (Patricia Rae), who is on her way to the States for the first time. So on the flimsy basis of respecting the sensitivities of a stranger who doesn't speak English, Ellie moves into the house and Bebe moves out -- and then poses as a caterer to keep an eye on recovering-alcoholic Don.

As if that weren't sitcom-y enough, Ellie and Don have two other adult children: lawyer Lyla (the ubiquitous Katherine Heigl), whose marriage is faltering because she can't have children; and doctor Jared (Topher Grace), a 30-year-old virgin who develops funny feelings for Madonna's manhandling daughter Nuria (Ana Ayora).

Adapted from the 2006 comedy Mon frère se marie and credited to a neophyte writer/director named Justin Zackham, The Big Wedding doesn't have a single moment of recognizable humanity.

On the plus side, it's short, and Robin Williams as a racist priest is blessedly limited to an extended cameo.

Perhaps we'll get more of Williams, along with bickering bridesmaids and a flamboyant wedding planner, in the inevitable bonus-packed home video -- which would make the perfect wedding gift for someone you despise.

-- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 26, 2013 D3

History

Updated on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:14 AM CDT: adds fact box

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.