Reel Reviews
Movie: Avoid a Walk Down the Aisle with “The Big Wedding”
April 30, 2013
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Brush up on the electric slide, giftwrap a blender and get ready to choose chicken or fish because wedding season is officially upon us. Weddings are a popular setting for films both dramatic and comedic, but the films that focus on that special day tend to be fairly hit or miss due to a multitude of variables. “The Big Wedding” is unabashedly a miss.

Don (Robert De Niro, “Goodfellas”) and Ellie (Diane Keaton, “Annie Hall”), a divorced couple with three children: lawyer Lyla (Katherine Heigl, “Knocked Up”), doctor Jared (Topher Grace, “That ‘70’s Show”) and adopted Alejandro (Ben Barnes, “The Chronicles of Narnia” Series), are forced to spend time together in preparation for the wedding of Alejandro to his fiancée, Missy (Amanda Seyfried, “Mean Girls”). Everyone is staying at the old family home including Don’s current flame and Ellie’s former best friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon, “Thelma & Louise”).

Things begin to get complicated when Alejandro’s very Catholic biological mother Madonna (Patricia Rae, “Maria Full of Grace”) and sister Nuria (Ana Ayora, “Marley & Me”) come and stay with the family. As to not upset her and have her believe he was raise by divorced heathens, Alejandro lies to Madonna and has Don and Ellie pretend to be married for the duration of the wedding weekend. Secrets are revealed, feelings are hurt and relationships tested and it all leads up to a wedding to remember.

Like an awful combination of “Mamma Mia!” and “My Big, Fat Greek Wedding,” “The Big Wedding” has so few redeeming qualities it is almost funny. It is safe to say that, from seeing the trailer, most people would know what they are getting themselves into (certainly no Academy Awards will go to this flick), but even that knowledge will not prepare you for this film. At first glance the cast alone seems like a great reason to see the movie; it is not. Every actor and their talents are wasted in this film with no real standouts. De Niro is De Niro, Keaton is Keaton, and there is no acting involved from any of the actors. The story is predictable and uninteresting with characters you feel nothing for, good or bad. The comedy is forced while the drama and feel good moments fall flat.  

There are a few elements in “The Big Wedding” that are positive. The instrumental music throughout is quite nice as is the scenery and it blissfully lasts only an hour and a half. Overall, the film is not worth the price of admission whether you are seeing it in a theater for $12.00 or on an airplane for free.    

“The Big Wedding” is rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity and runs 90 minutes. It is in theaters now.