Rachel Getting Married

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Anne Hathaway, Bill Irwin, Debra Winger, Rosemarie Dewitt. Written by Jenny Lumet. Directed by Jonathan Demme.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When Kym (Anne Hathaway) returns to the Buchman family home for the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie Dewitt), she brings a long history of personal crisis, family conflict and tragedy along with her. The wedding couples abundant party of friends and relations have gathered for a joyful weekend of feasting, music and love, but Kym with her biting one-liners and flair for bombshell drama is a catalyst for long-simmering tensions in the family dynamic.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It just doesnt seem that long ago I viewed another wedding movie steeped in family conflict Margot At the Wedding. What an uplifting little charmer that was (he said with an air of sarcasm). While I am desperate for an insightful drama from the land that giveth an abundance of superhero action adventures, both Margot and Rachel disappoint because they revel in their melancholy spirit. They do, however, serve a purpose. Both these movies remind the filmgoer that unless your patriarch is Dracula and Jeffrey Dahmer is your cousin, your own family ain't so bad.

Yes, dysfunctional family drama has been with us since the Bard told of Hamlet and his brood, but Rachels sister Kym (thats Kym with a y) is more morose than that Macbeth chick. Shed fit right in at a Tennessee Williams family reunion. And though writer Jenny Lumet (daughter of Sidney) comes from storytelling royalty, she is not yet able to handle such hysterics with the ease of William Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams.

Ms. Lumet is in tune with Americas We Want Change anthem, giving us a diverse group, a utopian mix of interracial couplings and a blend of artistic types that reflect a rainbow coalition. But this is a group who seek inner peace with all the profundity of a 60s flower child. And while they embrace the trappings of Buddhism, Hinduism and Andy Warhol, there doesnt seem to be much room in their spiritual evolution for Christ Jesus. One gets the impression that few of the characters portrayed would have read a Bible, let alone own one.

Can viewing this movie be helpful to our mental, physical or spiritual well-being? I suppose it reminds us that if we get high and kill our kid sibling in a car accident, we will be haunted by it for years. That should be about as effective against drug abuse as the Just say no directive.

Make no mistake, this reviewer is not being condescending towards those involved in this production. Everyone involved has proven abilities and to some degree display them here. It is the hollowness of the film's theme I found unsatisfying. Americans want change in the political, financial and cultural arenas, and many (not all) in Hollywood are seizing the opportunity to encourage amendment or outright forsaking of biblical principles along with all other social change.

If the Bible is correct, however, then the attempt to blend John 3:16 with the spiritual directives of other religions will only lead mankind away from their Creator.

DVD Alternative: Babettes Feast. This 1987 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film centers around two religiously devout Danish sisters who show kindness to a homeless woman. When she wins a lottery, the woman shares her good fortune in a most lavish manner. Based on a short story by Isak Dinessen, it is a beautiful tale of devotion and sacrifice, as well as a healing parable where quarreling friends and acquaintances are brought together once they shed their pious austerity. The film urges us not to hide behind our religion, but to put it into action.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures Classics

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crude sexual remarks

Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities, mostly the f-word and uttered by most of the lead characters.

Profanity: Gods name is followed by a curse once and Jesus name is spoken in frustration; the expression oh my God is uttered many times, giving us the feeling the cast members were brought up on episodes of Friends.

Violence: We learn that a sister on drugs accidentally killed her little brother; a mother and daughter get into an argument over the death of the child, each slapping the other once; angry, a young woman smashes her car into a tree; she is bruised, but not badly.

Sex: One sexual situation, brief, between the lead and a man she has met only hours before.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Lots of festive drinking; the lead is battling addiction; drug use is not glorified. Cigarette smoking.

Other: Most of the leads get to profane Gods name, and make use of the f-word incessantly, the lead has sex in the basement with a man she met a few hours before, and the New Age-y atmosphere signals the biblical reconstruction many want along with a new political landscape.

Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Manic depressives over 18

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