Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Big Wedding

How sad is it that Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, and Susan Sarandon have made a movie together, and that that movie is "The Big Wedding," a crude, cynical comedy with a couple of chuckles at most. Its oversexed humor comes off not playful and horizon-expanding but crass and desperate.

Keaton and Sarandon were best friends, until Sarandon had an affair with Keaton's hubby, De Niro. Now the pious-Catholic birth mother of their adopted son, Alejandro (Ben Barnes), is coming to town for his wedding, forcing De Niro and Keaton to pretend still to be together, while Sarandon is relegated to the cleanup committee. Among other issues, the movie suffers from the "Dead Poets Society" syndrome, in which Barnes and Topher Grace (as their saving-himself-for-marriage older son) look too much alike, as do the actresses playing Barnes' fiancée and sister. Katherine Heigl, as the daughter with daddy issues, is given exactly one scene to let her guard down; the rest of the time, she's reduced to bitchiness that melts into warmedy at the end. Even the title is a misnomer; the wedding's actually fairly small by today's standards.

"The Big Wedding" is cheap and flat and looks like it was filmed over a weekend at one of the stars' summer homes. It will be remembered, if at all, for using not real doggie reaction shots but reaction shots of ceramic pugs.

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