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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.
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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