The trailers for The Big Wedding present it as a sort of crossover between My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Meet The Parents – awkward family comedy that ends with a happy wedding and a feel-good resolution. However, like any big family gathering, this movie contains many surprises and a few disappointments.
The film follows the wedding weekend for the Blank family. Their adopted son Alejandro’s biological mother and sister are flying in from Colombia – an event that causes much uproar as his long-divorced parents, Don and Ellie, must pretend to be married as to not upset her. In the meantime Don’s current girlfriend – and Ellie’s former best friend – leaves in a huff and continues to cause chaos as the caterer for the wedding. Throw in an estranged older sister with marriage problems and a doctor brother whose virgin status is suddenly a problem, and you have a recipe for an hour-and-a-half of family hijinks.
Unfortunately, despite plenty to work with, the plot moves in starts and jolts. The film jumps from storyline to storyline often with little or no transition. The audience is forced to make many assumptions, though due to the somewhat predictable nature of the plot, these assumptions usually turn out to be correct. The sub-plot surrounding the older brother’s attempt to find a romantic partner for the evening seems particularly forced.
However, aside from the weaknesses of the script, the film is saved by way of the performances of the seasoned actors and the odd quirks that most of the characters have. Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, and Topher Grace all elevate what could have been stock characters, raising the quality of the film along the way. Amanda Seyfried and Ben Barnes have a pleasant chemistry as the young couple attempting to get married amidst the madness. Overall, the actors seem to have fun with the roles, which invites the audience to invest in them and actually care when the contrived plot twists happen. The addition of off-kilter humor every so often keeps the film moving when the plot fails to do so.
Overall, The Big Wedding manages to be pleasant and entertaining without ever digging in deeper. The humor isn’t for everyone, though if you’re open to a laugh you’re likely to find one here. It goes down easy but is mostly forgettable. The end verdict? If you’re looking for a relaxing comedy, go see this one – though you might want to wait for the DVD.