I've never actually opened a review by quoting the press notes, but I had to take a peek to see what lies were being spun in the notes for THE BIG WEDDING, which features an all-star cast acting like fucking assholes for 90 of the longest minutes you'll ever experience. In the notes, the movies is described as being "an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family." Translation: Everybody yells and swears and talks about sex, especially the old people. When Robin Williams playing a Catholic priest is the most subtle thing about a movie, you know you're in trouble.
THE BIG WEDDING is, shockingly enough, about a bunch of mostly white people (with a few Latinos thrown in so that the most offensive characters in the film can show how awful they are by making racist jokes) coming together at the home of Don (Robert De Niro) and his long-time significant other Bebe (Susan Sarandon) for the wedding of Don's adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes) to Missy (Amanda Seyfried, who looks angry at her agent that she's in this movie; she should be). Don used to be married to Ellie (Diane Keaton) and they had two biological kids, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace). Turns out Don cheated on Ellie years ago with her best friend Bebe, and the three seemed to have worked most of their issues out, but it's a rom-com, so clearly more issues need to be dealt with for our benefit.
As an added bonus, Alejandro's biological mother and sister (Patricia Rae and Ana Ayora, respectively) are on the guest list. Williams' priest is performing the service, and it's weird how most of what he does is react to the idiots in the family rather than tell his own jokes. David Rasche and Christine Ebersole play Missy's parents (and the aforementioned racists), who'd really rather not have brownish grand-babies.
It's almost impossible to believe that the filmmakers went for the R rating with this one, but indeed they did. Writer-director Justin Zackham (who wrote the appallingly bad THE BUCKET LIST a few years back) seemed to think that his remake of the 2006 French comedy MON FRERE SE MARIE was worth spicing up with a few choice bad words, but it's no improvement. The characters don't resemble human beings and their behavior is miles from the way human behave to the point of maddening frustration.
Keaton continues her career plan of stumbling through dialogue as if her inability to find the right words is in any way amusing. De Niro plays Don as a philandering slob who refuses to marry Bebe for reasons we're never quite clued into. Jared is a 30-year-old virgin doctor who is being hit on by every nurse, so that's believable...about as much as Ayora suddenly throwing her spicy self at him almost the second she meets him. Heigl is a miserable human being who I'm pretty sure ended her marriage because she assumed her bitchy ways would force her husband to eventually, so she thought she'd beat him to the punch. I know most right-thinking human creatures don't like Heigl, but she is outright hateful in this film. Moving on.
What else can I tell you about THE BIG WEDDING? Every family secret in three families is revealed over the course of the weekend. Heigl vomits on De Niro, which he deserves for being in this runny puddle of shit. Jokes are made about one character's plastic surgery by other characters who need to take a long look in the mirror and have their memory checked. Ugh. There's another line in the press notes that says something about the family hopefully getting through the weekend "without killing each other," but I was actually rooting for several murders while taking in the wretched THE BIG WEDDING. I don't say this often, but if you find yourself in a theater this or any weekend to see this movie, you really need to examine your life priorities and your taste in films.