I remember seeing the trailers for this film and thinking it might be ok in a make-sure-I-turn-off-my-brain-before-watching kind of way. Now it’s out on DVD was I able to turn off my brain and enjoy it?
Divorced parents Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton) are preparing for their adopted son Alejandro’s (Ben Barnes) wedding to Missy (Amanda Seyfried). However complications arise when Alejandro’s biological mother decides to come to the wedding and fearing that Don and Ellie’s divorce would upset her strict religious beliefs Alejandro gets the whole family to lie and pretend Don and Ellie are still married.
So many things are wrong with this film I don’t know where to start. Firstly it’s got a great cast who either overact, looked bored or wonder why the hell they signed up for this movie in the first place. Were they given a different script that convinced them to sign up and then got re-written during filming?
Then there’s the fact that this whole charade feels completely over the top, would anyone really go to all these lengths to hide someones divorce in this day and age? I know Alejandro’s mother is meant to be religious but you can’t help but feel the family would just tell Alejandro where to stick his request. Whats worse is that this film is just not funny. I wasn’t expecting much from this film but I thought maybe there would be some light laughs to be had. But no. Jokes mostly seem to surround the family’s bad relationships and sexual failings. This is more uncomfortable than funny. Also I did not find any of the conversations between the families believable whatsoever. It doesn’t help that most of the characters are unlikable. The parents are annoying and hypocritical, I had no interest in their grown up children’s lives (played by Katherine Higel and Topher grace) and although Ben Barnes and Amanda Seyfried (whose completely wasted in her role) make a cute couple there wasn’t really enough focus on them to make you really care about their wedding.
The only character who was vaguely interesting was Susan Sarandon’s Bebe , the girlfriend of Don and ex best friend of Ellie. She came across as the most sympathetic and nicest character in the film. Her relationship with Alejandro- where he tells her he considers her family, were the only scenes I found remotely touching.
What saves the film from being a complete disaster-besides Sarandon’s performance-is the climatic scenes when the family secrets start spilling out. There are at least a few laughs to be had there, even if they are fleeting.
Rating 2/5-despite the star pull of Keaton, De Niro, Sarandon and co this is one wedding you don’t need to crash