Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme – 2010) A-

There is very little to like about Kym, but she is unforgettable . That’s Rachel’s sister, played very well by Anne Hathaway. Sure the title of the film refers to Rachel and it takes us from the day before the rehearsal dinner all the way to the morning after the wedding, but the movie is ultimately about Kym. It’s about her place in the joyous occasion, how she perceives herself and how her family members see her. She is in rehab you see and is out for a long weekend to attend her sister’s wedding. Little by little we learn so much about the family and about Kym’s situation. She hates herself, but at the same time she wants to be the center of attention and the victim. Her sweet dad loves her unconditionally, is very supportive and hovers over her constantly. Rachel loves her but believes, correctly perhaps, that Kym has gotten way too many second chances.  Her mom, divorced and living with a new husband seems to have “checked-out”  a long time ago and treats her ex-family like random acquaintances. Hovering like a shadow is tragedy in the family’s past that puts many things in perspective. There is a slew of other characters that I did not mention, from the groom’s family, odd musicians, family friends…and even the eclectic wedding itself seems like its own character. “Rachel Getting Married” is one of those films that manages to have a ton of things going on at the same time, yet is never meandering or confusing. Demme gives it time to unwind and the long stretches of rehearsal dinner scenes and wedding scenes with Samba dancing seem superfluous but really are not. I felt as if I was actually watching a video of a real wedding, one that is much more interesting than most.

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