Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Movie Review: "Rachel Getting Married"

Ok, you guys. This right here? Best movie of the year. I loved this movie. LOVED. Full disclosure: I really like Anne Hathaway. I think she's adorable. I love The Princess Diaries, the books and the movies. No, I'm not 11. Shut up, they're really cute. And her hair was HILARIOUS in Brokeback Mountain. Anyway, I like her a lot and am generally prepared to enjoy her work.

In Rachel Getting Married, my girl Anne plays Kym, who is just a trainwreck of a human being. She's let out of rehab on a pass to attend her sister Rachel's wedding. And of course, all sorts of confrontations and fights and dramatics occur. But, not in the typical movie way. This movie unfolds more like a documentary. Or like real life.

It's a very interesting wedding, a mishmash of Eastern and Jewish and all kinds of other traditions. It's awesome. Full of music and dancing, it's exactly the kind of wedding I'd like to attend. The movie uses entirely diagetic music, emanating from the various musicians hanging out at the house. (Hey, I'm a nerd. I like to pretend like I know things.)

The acting is uniformly amazing. Hathaway does a beautiful job with Kym, a character who should probably be fairly unsympathetic. She's been an addict for years and put her family through hell. She is wildly self-centered and has absolutely NO filter. You get the idea that she's had way too much therapy and thinks being "honest" and "open" means saying anything that pops into her head. Heh. But Hathaway finds the heart in her and the courage and strength. She really is trying. She really does love her family. The scene where we learn what happened to Kym and Rachel's younger brother is incredibly compelling.

Everyone else in the cast is a knock-out as well. Rosemarie DeWitt plays the grounded Rachel. I was sure I'd seen her in something else and when I looked her up, she played Midge on Mad Men. (A sidenote: what is up with that? It seems like every time I like an actress lately and look her up, she's from Mad Men. The other notable example is Julie McNiven who played Anna, the angel girl on Supernatural. God, Mad Men rules.) Debra Winger pops up, as Kym and Rachel's distant mother, in the first role I'd seen her in in a really long time. She's awesome. Bill Irwin (Mr. Noodle from Sesame St.!) and Anna Deveare Smith (She's been in tons of things, but she will always be Nancy McNally from The West Wing to me. "Someone get me a change of clothes. I look like an idiot.") play the girls' dad and stepmom. It's a lovely performance from Irwin especially, I hope he wins lots of awards.

I cried off and on for the last 40 minutes of the movie. I'm not kidding. It wasn't pretty. Some of them were sad tears, others happy. Families, man. Families just get to me. Even when they're not perfect, even when they suck, even when they have NOTHING in common with you, you still want them with you and on your side. Rachel Getting Married is such a lovely, funny, ultimately uplifting ode to perfectly imperfect families.


Volstaag said...

Chick Flick! So of course I will never see this movie. However, anne Hatheway is Hot! I liked her in "Get Smart". That was a good movie. I wept openly.

"Lady" Bea said...

I really wouldn't characterize it as a "chick flick." (Though I don't characterize ANYTHING as a "chick flick" because I loathe the term.) But you would probably enjoy it, actually. Especially as compared to our "Fun in Dysfunction!" family. Hee hee hee.

Anne Hathaway IS hot. I will agree with you there.

Auntie Mame said...

You know what's a good, under-estimated Anne Hathaway movie? Ella Enchanted. I caught it on Disney once and it was adorable. All about being yourself, and being strong enough to not need anyone else. Very sweet.

Dr. Fabulous said...

I agree! Ella Enchanted is one of my faves!