Big Stars Get Naughty in “The Big Wedding”
By Skip Sheffield
“The Big Wedding” offers some big-name movie stars the chance to talk dirty, act naughty and get paid well for it.
Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro play a divorced couple who are asked to pretend they are still married at the wedding of their adopted son.
Those of you who are divorced will surely know what a terrible idea this is, but it is the hook cooked up by writer-director Justin Zackham. Zackham is a bright young
graduate who wrote the screen play for “The Bucket List.” NYU
Both “The Bucket List’ and “Big Wedding’ deal in black humor, but the latter is more a sex farce.
This is clear at the outset when we see Ellie (Diane Keaton) find the hidden key to a big, beautiful lakefront estate in
Connecticut to let herself in unannounced.
Though Ellie has been divorced ten years from sculptor Don (Robert De Niro),
she still has affection for the guy who cheated on her with her former best
friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon).
Ellie picks a particularly embarrassing moment to barge in on Don and Bebe. This sets the tone for embarrassment galore to come.
Bebe has been living with Don ever since Ellie left and has been acting as a step mother to offspring Lyla (Katherine Heigl), Jared (Topher Grace) and adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes). Lyla is married but separated. Jared is a doctor and a prime catch for all the females in his vicinity, but he has vowed to remain a virgin until true love comes along. Jared is almost 30 and still waiting.
Alejando is engaged to be married to Missy (Amanda Seyfried), the lovely daughter of Don’s snobby, insufferable neighbors Muffy (Christine Ebersole) and Barry (David Rasche). Alejandro’s real mother is Madonna (Patricia Rae) a very pious Catholic woman who lives in
Columbia. Madonna has
never before come to the USA,
but to be at her son’s side she decides to visit, with her nubile daughter
Nuria (Ana Ayora) in tow.
Did we mention Don is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober three years, or that Bebe has been asked to bear gracefully the humiliation of Ellie masquerading in her role? Oh, and how about the fact Nuria takes an instant shine to Jared, despite the fact he is technically her half-brother?
Throw Robin Williams in as a boozy priest, and you have the recipe for chaos. To the credit of all involved, “Big Wedding” is very funny, though the laughs may feel guilty.