The Screening Room
rachel getting married
Watching "Rachel Getting Married" reminded why I don't like independent cinema. The smugness of this movie is enough to make me sick to my stomach. Wait a minute. It was the handheld camerawork that made me sick. It had a "Cloverfield" effect on me. The smugness only added to the misery.

"Rachel Getting Married" is now available on DVD.

Apparently the critics and art house crowd went crazy over the movie about a recovering addict (Anne Hathaway). I'm not sure why. The movie is nausating from the result of constant and shaky camerawork. Yes, I realize that the cinematographer probably still lit the scene as a professional cinematographer usually does. Maybe he didn't and shot with ambient light so as not to block Anne Hathway's spotlight. In either case, it bugged me.

The film doesn't work as a good dramatic piece. The acting reminds me of a bunch of drama club thespians getting together to stroke their acting egos. Forget about the audience. We love our acting! I come from the school of thought that good drama, even with a story about a disfunctional family, should still appeal to a wider audience. "Rachel" focuses in on the art house crowd and doesn't care about the rest of us folks who watch "Dancing With the Stars." That's fine with me. I'll stick with my popcorn movies. You stick with your sushi and wine movies. 

The entire family in this movie is creepy. These people are obnoxious, self-centered rich folk who'd be friends with Wall St. brokers. They party like nobody's business and stack dishes in the dishwasher like the rest of us. But are they really like us? I was bored with them and I was bored with their family strife. Get over it already!    

Hathaway received an Oscar nomination for her role as Kym. Why, I don't really know. Her role is one of "look at me, I can scream and cuss and have the make-up department make me appear dishoveled. I'm pretending to be rough around the edges. I'm good for an Oscar nom!" I didn't buy it. With "The Princess Diaries" and "Ella Enchanted" in my head, I still couldn't get past the limited range of Hathaway's acting. She usually has that usual doe-eyed expression on her face and doesn't cause me to believe her characters. The same goes for her role as Kym. It's Princess Mia strung out.

The best performance comes from Hathaway's sister in the movie, Rosemarie DeWitt. The movie would've actually been better if it had focused on her dealing with her wedding and obnoxious sister. Instead we get the "woe is me" story.

A good drama, in my opinion, should hold your attention. It should also have characters, even if they have serious problems, that you care about. Drama like "Rachel Getting Married" ought to be watchable over-and-over again, but it isn't.        

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to CSPR

Photos: Sony Pictures Classics. All rights reserved.
DVD Quick Glimpse


Shaky and sleep inducing movie that might be adored by the art house crowd

Director: Johathan Demme  

Cast: Anna Hathaway, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin, Rosemarie DeWitt 

Delted scenes, commentary and more


Picture: Good
Sound: Good

Aren't you tired of self-centered movies about dysfunctional families?

Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)

Dolby Digital 5.1

March 10, 2009
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