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In 1950s Massachusetts, a wealthy black woman engaged to a poor white beatnik learns about her family history. The stories revolve around the racial and class complexities of interracial and class-based marriages.

Director:

Charles Burnett

Writers:

Dorothy West (novel), Lisa Jones (teleplay)
Reviews
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Halle Berry ... Shelby Coles
Eric Thal ... Meade Howell
Lynn Whitfield ... Corinne Coles
Carl Lumbly ... Lute McNeil
Michael Warren ... Clark Coles
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Ellen Coles
Cynda Williams ... Liz Odis
Charlayne Woodard
Richard Brooks ... Lincoln Odis
Gabriel Casseus ... Hannibal
Shirley Knight ... Gram (Miss Caroline)
Ethel Ayler ... Eunice
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Preacher
Peter Francis James ... Isaac Coles
Carl Gordon ... Mr. Hawkins
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Storyline

Shelby Coles is engaged to marry talented white jazz musician Meade Howell, but the pair face opposition from both Meade's family, who object to an inter-racial marriage, and Shelby's parents, who want her to marry a professional. As Shelby is afflicted by premarital doubts, handsome Lute McNeil arrives on the scene, determined to make Shelby his at any cost.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men. Two different worlds. One final decision. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding See more »

Filming Locations:

Southport, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Tina McNeil: I think Daddy wants you to be our new mommy. Will you, Shelby?
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User Reviews

 
Factual representation of African-American life
4 October 2005 | by shelbycoles2005See all my reviews

The Wedding (1998) was a fine attempt to bring to life a brilliant book. Although I understand that Oprah Winfrey may have wanted to have "stars" in her movie, aesthetically they just don't fit. The book states again and again that the Coles family could have "passed" for white had they wanted to. There is a very important part of the book that describes the day Shelby got lost and everyone (read: white) thought they were looking for a little "colored" girl and therefore it couldn't be this beautiful BLUE-EYED, BLOND-HAIRED, little girl...until she tells them her name, and then they're horrified.

Although I think this cast did a wonderful job, I can't help but be bothered by the blatant disregard for a major plot point in Dorothy West's novel. That being said, if the viewer is aware beforehand, I think this movie is worth seeing simply because there are so few factual representations of African-Americans in the media. I know many African-American families that live and act as the Coles family does; I have yet to meet an African-American family that lives or acts the way the Parkers do.


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