Saturday, April 4, 2009

Paragraph Movie Reviews: Rachel Getting Married

This is a very uneven movie. There are some extremely intense, powerful scenes and wonderful character dynamics built, but there are also such long stretches where nothing really happens and I found myself very bored. Honestly, the last half hour or so felt like I was just watching somebody's wedding video and I'd only get yanked out of it when they showed Anne Hathaway because I wondered when she was going to snap. Speaking of Anne Hathaway, she's absolutely brilliant and I don't think I would have checked in with the rest of what was going on around her if not for her performance. She completely inhabits her characters and does a great job of making you feel uncomfortable with every facial tick or body movement because you're nervous she's going to do something terrible and awkward. When she's at the center of things, the movie takes on a tremendous sense of both urgency and realism. But then during the scenes she's not in, I was just kinda counting the seconds until it was over. Don't get me wrong, there's nobody in the cast who was bad; Rosemarie DeWitt is solid throughout as the titular Rachel, Bill Irwin is borderline disturbing as the shellshocked father and Deborah Winger brings a lot to her smaller role as the deatched mother, but when held up against Hathaway's performance, they all seem just ok. All the best scenes are the ones where Hathaway is interacting with her family, in particular the explosive confrontation between mother and daughter at the film's most pivotal moment; but any time it's combinations of cast members other than Hathaway, it falls flat. Hence, uneven. Also, no amount of makeup was able to make Anne Hathaway really look like a strung out junkie as opposed to a gorgeous movie star, but I guess that's nature's fault. Thumbs up for Anne Hathaway's performance, thumbs in the middle for this flick as a whole.

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