Review: ‘Rachel Getting Married’ – One of the Best of 2008

I love the tagline in the trailer for Rachel Getting Married:  “This is not your family.  But it is your family.”   I love it because the family portrayed in the film is nothing like my own, yet I identified with these people so strongly.  Jonathan Demme’s first narrative feature since 2004’s The Manchurian Candidate is a testament to the power of family, and no matter how much you sometimes can’t stand the people you’re born with, they’re yours, and you’re theirs.

What’s it about? Rachel Getting Married is a story of a young woman who tries to make right so many wrongs, and still can’t forgive herself for her drug-induced negligence that led to a terrible accident years before.Kym (Anne Hathaway), a former model, checks out of rehab for the weekend to attend her sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding to Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe).  Kym’s one of those unpredictable hurricane types who can’t help but to storm through people’s lives and leave nothing but a path of destruction.   Amid numerous guests who parade around the house all weekend, the family does its best to keep the airing of dirty laundry to a minimum, but Kym has a way of bringing out the hurt in others (and not always intentionally, either).

What’s good about it? Demme’s film is shot like Lars Von Trier’s 2000 film Dancer in the Dark–hand-held camera work with long takes (similar to the Dogme style of films), with performances so raw you’d swear you are, in fact, watching a documentary.

Anne Hathaway’s performance is more than an attempt to shed her Disney princess/safe romantic comedy persona; it’s an actual, Oscar-worthy performance that gives me hope that down the road fthat she’ll take on other diverse and convincing roles.

Also Oscar-worthy is DeWitt’s performance of the titular sister, who’s had to suffer in silence while Kym’s antics sucked all the energy from their parents and doesn’t want her sister to ruin her wedding.

Hathaway and DeWitt execute that sisterly bond with the utmost precision–they love and resent each other simultaneously.

This is one of those films that makes you realize how important family is.  You didn’t choose these people, and sometimes, if you weren’t related you might never have associated with them at all.  But that’s the  the blessing/challenge of family: to connect, to love and to be there for each other.

What’s bad about it? There’s some language and a very brief sex scene.

Perfect for: fans of The Family Stone.


Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: