October 30, 2008 by  

Rachel Getting Married


Rachel Getting Married

Anne Hathaway plays Kym in "Rachel Getting Married."

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Debra Winger
Directed by: Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”)
Written by: Jenny Lumet (debut)

“Rachel Getting Married” is unlike any wedding I’ve ever been to and it’s an enjoyable event.

As the wedding videographer, er, director, Jonathan Demme (“The Manchurian Candidate”) decides to shoot the film as if we are part of his on-camera dysfunctional family. It’s an intimate and compelling way to tell a story especially when led with a strong and Oscar-worthy performance by Anne Hathaway.

In the film, Hathaway plays Kym, a young woman who takes a short break from rehab to attend the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt). It’s been a couple of months since Kym has been home, but it doesn’t take her long to clash with the rest of the bridal party and members of her family, many of which still hold strong feelings against Kym for causing a tragic event to happen because of her drug use.

Kym feels she is a “visiting sociopath” and her behavior proves her correct. Although the weekend is supposed to be all about the wedding, Kym lets her poisonous feelings take center stage and slowly cripples the rest of her family during her visit. As you start to see how much her family cares for and despises her all at the same time it is truly heartbreaking. Kym may be recovering from her addiction to drugs, but it’s not enough when her mental state is the same as when she first left. Her stubbornness simply makes her hard to love.

Her selfishness is evident during an incredibly long dinner scene where Rachel and her fiancé are receiving heartfelt best wishes from all their friends and family. You slowly start to see how everyone’s good-natured sentiments are going to lead to something disastrous: a toast from Kmy. It’s an uncomfortable thing to watch as she sucks the life out of the room with talk about drug dependency and what level she is at on her 12-step program.

With “Rachel Getting Married,” Demme has created a small wonder through a diverse family dynamic. As the film pulls you in psychologically, it almost seems voyeuristic watching everything unfold. Like last year’s “Margot at the Wedding,” characters seethe. Unlike the film, there is an underlying hope that family ties will prevail. It’s not nearly as depressing as “Margot,” and finds many other emotional avenues to burrow into your head.

Grade: B+

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