Kym is released from rehab for a few days so she can go home to attend her sister Rachel's wedding. The home environment is always challenging for a recovering addict, no less so when the visit if only for a few days. While the sisters feel genuine affection for one another, there is tension in their relationship. Rachel feels that her father dotes on Kym far too much and Kym is upset to learn that Rachel has selected a friend to be her maid of honor. Their father is genuinely concerned about Kym's well-being but doesn't see the stress the relationship is causing. Both women also have to deal with their selfish mother who is clearly more concerned with her own well-being ahead of that of her children. Underlying the family's dynamic is a tragedy that occurred many years previously and for which Kym is held by some to be responsible. Written by
Jenny Lumet spent about 7 weeks writing the script. It was her first to be made into a film, even though it was the writer's 5th screenplay. See more »
When Kym returns from the rehearsal dinner the piece of watermelon she eats has a bite taken out of it that disappears and re-appears during the scene. The thickness of the slice also varies. See more »
Excellent Study of Family Dysfunction (But Please Stop Using Hand-held Cameras!)
The kind of movie that gives films about family dysfunction a good name.
Anne Hathaway plays Kym, troubled younger sister to Rachel, who's (as the title suggests) getting married. Kym gets a leave of absence from rehab in order to attend Rachel's nuptials. Once she's back home, old sores open up, sisterly resentment boils over, and the accusations and tears fly, all while ineffectual dad (Bill Irwin) tries to play referee and emotionally distant mom (Debra Winger) remains auspiciously absent.
If this sounds like a slog to sit through, don't be scared off. Unlike the recent and absolutely atrocious "Margot at the Wedding," which this film reminded me of, "Rachel Getting Married" is full of flawed but deeply sympathetic characters who I for one cared tremendously about. Anne Hathaway gives the kind of performance that will convince people she's more than just a pretty face, while she's met every step of the way by the less well known Rosemarie Dewitt, who plays Rachel. In a movie like this, it's crucial that the audience understands the back story that led the characters to their current dynamic, and it's a minor miracle that "Rachel Getting Married" does that without the use of flashbacks, voice over or even extensive scenes of plot exposition. Much of the story is told through nuance, in slight expressions or gestures, and the cast is uniformly fierce, every single member creating complex, flesh-and-blood people that aren't easy to instantly categorize. The film is an acting tour de force in every sense of the word.
Hathaway and Dewitt get the most opportunities to shine, but Irwin and Winger do wonders in their smaller roles as the parents. Winger, in particular, is devastating.
My only complaint is a big one -- an edict must be passed in Hollywood banning directors from filming entire movies with hand-held cameras. The trend is cliché and over. No, it does not add "realism" to a film. It merely distracts from all of the other elements that are good enough to stand on their own without the gimmickry. The cinematography was much less obtrusive in this film than in some others I can name, but it still served as a liability, not an asset.
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