Rachel Getting Married: Not Quite Happily Ever After

Posted by Miss Ess, March 10, 2009 06:38pm | Post a Comment
Of all the Oscar related films I have seen thus far this season, Rachel Getting Married felt the most real to me.

Jonathan Demme directed this film and the footage has a documentary, fly on the wall feeling to it -- it's shakey, hand held and doesn't shy away from catching awkward moments. It perfectly suits the film's plot and the depths of intensity that the characters plumb throughout. The film centers around a wounded family getting together to celebrate the wedding of Rachel (the gorgeous Rosemarie DeWitt of Mad Men) and Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio). Kym (Oscar-nominated Anne Hathaway) is Rachel's attention-needy, just out of rehab sister.

I found this film to be extremely absorbing -- it really delves into the emotions and complications of a family whose deeply cracked ties are dangerously close, in some cases, to becoming fully broken. Kym's self absorption wreaks havoc on each family member in different ways and they all struggle to cope with her actions in the crucible of a fully yuppified wedding weekend. The languid pace of the film adds to its authentic charm -- the viewer is led slowly through a series of moments that have a strong cinema vérité feeling. We are innocent bystanders as a layered history of pain and grief is slowly revealed, bringing this family to and through the emotionally charged wedding weekend.

The scene where Rachel and Sidney exchange vows hits just the right over 35-hipster note. In fact, the whole wedding does -- it's all cross-cultural, with saris and dancers and tenting. As someone who grew up in an area socioeconomically comparable to Stamford, CT, where the film takes place, I couldn't help but giggle inwardly throughout in recognition of this particular brand of sincere but self righteously naive cultural copping.

I also enjoyed the Robyn Hitchcock cameo! I rode in a crowded NYC subway car with Robyn once. Though I didn't speak to him, he looked terrified when our eyes met -- I guess he knew he had been spotted. He was wearing neon purple pants. Truly, how could you expect to not be spotted when you're wearing neon purple pants?

Regardless, Rachel Getting Married was released on DVD this week. I think it's one of the better films I have see

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Rachel Getting Married (2), Rosemarie Dewitt (1), Jonathan Demme (4), Anne Hathaway (2), Oscars (35), Robyn Hitchcock (5)