Rachel Getting Married

Posted October 9, 2008 in Film

Anne Hathaway rips off her princess tiara and Prada heels to helm a picture that entertains via excruciation. As Kym, the drama queen of rehab taking a weekend vacation to attend her older sister Rachel’s wedding, Hathaway plays a character whose problems go beyond drug and alcohol addiction—even beyond the atrocities she committed under them. To her family, she’s the hurricane they dare not name, and when the perpetually-shunted aside Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) argues that at best, the devastation in Rachel’s wake is an accident (at worst, its nuclear narcissism), their enabling father (Bill Irwin), cautious step-mother (Anna Deavere Smith), and disconnected mother (Debra Winger) get upset with her for shattering their ignorant bliss. Nicole Kidman’s Margot at the Wedding mined similar turf; the difference is Jonathan Demme’s film is honest, smart, painful, and good. It’s a Hathaway showcase—and the talented 25-year-old earns it by understanding a character who never understands herself—fueled by scenes where Kym alienates herself with bone-headed wedding toasts and one-night-stands with the hunky best man (Mather Ziekel). But what lingers in Jenny Lumet’s script isn’t just the fireworks, it’s the calm between them where the family of the bride, the family of the groom (Tunde Adebimpe), and the whole Benetton-eclectic wedding party toast the hope of building love from the chaos of life. (Amy Nicholson)


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