Wedding Weekend, The
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -4

David Harbour, Molly Shannon, Mark Feuerstein, Reg Rogers, David Alan Basche, Elizabeth Reaser. Comedy/drama. Written & directed by Bruce Leddy.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The Wedding Weekend is an ensemble comedy about a group of men who sang together in an a cappella group in college. Fifteen years later they reunite to perform at a friends wedding. During a long weekend rehearsing together, the men reflect on how their lives have progressed -- and in some cases, regressed -- since their college heyday.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Its The Big Chill without Motown. And though there are some nice performances and some funny moments, the characters are shallower than those in The Big Chill (not that they were cavernous in nature) and the main laughs are siphoned from sexual references. Now, in order to not sound overly pious, I must confess that I can be somewhat earthy in my attempts at wit. Not nasty, mind you, but occasionally bawdy and not nice. The tongue is, after all, a strong little muscle, seemingly with a mind of its own. So, I dont wish my finger-pointing to seem hypercritical. But heres the difference. As we continue to seek a closer fellowship with our Lord and Savior, the realization that the things we say and do dont just reflect our personalities, but our Christian walk, as well. Our spiritual growth leads to controlling our natural instincts. This is done, or should be, in order to honor our God and show concern for our fellow planeteers. The spiritual aspect of mankinds makeup is not addressed by any of the characters in this film. Therefore they remain superficial by films end.

Though marriage is given a slight reverence towards the climax, the story is populated by people who think the ultimate goal of life is to get laid. Forgive my inclusion of that term. I decided to keep that terminology because it represents the mindset of every male in the film and several of the females. If you object to my using it here, then this is definitely not the film for you.

What dimension there is seems tagged on as if the writer had been highly influenced by Bazooka Joe. The main characters deal with losing a wife, losing a job or losing hair, these conditions representing their fear of growing old. The women roll their eyes in hope that their hubbies will grow up. Not that they reflect much substantiality, either. Molly Shannon, for instance, is supposed to be funny as an extremely vulgar woman who thinks nothing of embarrassing her mate in front of others. Though Ms. Shannon is a talented lady, here the crudeness is incessant and embarrassing.

There have been many Hollywood attempts at presenting groups of old friends trying to discover the meaning of life. Yet, most of these films do so without regard for the spiritual side of man. Some even mock biblical principles. This film uses meaning-of-life questions as mere backdrop, preferring to focus on ribald humor.

DVD Alternatives: The Gospel. A semi-autobiographical film about the transformative power of faith and forgiveness, The Gospel is a contemporary drama packed with the soaring, soulful sounds of gospel music. Set in the impassioned world of the African-American church, The Gospel tells the story of David Taylor (Boris Kodjoe), a dynamic young R&B star torn between his successful new life and the one he used to know.

Or:

Groundhog Day. A funny modern-day parable with Bill Murray living the same day over and over, until he realizes his assistant is the girl for him.

Or:

The Straight Story. Filmed along the 260-mile route that the actual Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) traversed in 1994 from Laurens, Iowa to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin, The Straight Story chronicles Alvins patient odyssey and those he meets along the way. Alvin encounters a number of strangers, from a teenage runaway to a fellow WWII veteran. By sharing his lifes earned wisdom with simple stories, Alvin has a profound impact on these people. It contains lessons about the importance of family and forgiveness.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Panorama Entertainment

Summary
Crude Language: Often.
Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities (mostly the f- and s-words) and several minor expletives; crude terms for body parts.
Profanity: Five or so misuses of Christs name and Gods; the expression oh my God is used nearly as often as on a segment of TVs Friends.
Violence: A man nearly punches his wife in a heated argument; a brief skirmish breaks out in a bar; a man attempts suicide by pointing a gun at his head, with a man getting wounded in the arm by the gunshot. Blood: Some blood as a man receives a gunshot wound in the arm.
Sexual Intercourse: Several sexual situations, many graphic and coarse sexual conversations.
Nudity: We see the menfolk from behind as they go skinny dipping.
Homosexual Conduct: One character is supposed to be gay, with a few gay jokes and crude terms for the gay lifestyle.
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: A great deal of drinking throughout; a couple of shots of someone smoking a joint.
Other: None
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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