As a cinemaphile who enjoys every kind of cinematic experience, I scoff when moviegoers say they dislike ultra-realism in film, instead preferring an escape from their everyday lives. I'm too big a fan of the art form to ever agree. However, my propensity for lauding the "real life" genre and the downer story line was put to the test with Jonathan Demme's (The Silence of the Lambs) newest offering.
In order to attend her sister Rachel's (Rosmarie DeWitt, Showtime's United States of Tara) wedding, recovering drug addict Kym (Anne Hathaway, Get Smart) checks out of rehab and heads back to her parents' home. But with unresolved conflicts cropping up among the family, this isn't exactly the happy reunion one might expect.
Firstly, Hathaway was nominated for an Oscar. And while her portrayal of a former junkie represents a nice departure from her more wholesome roles, I actually thought she was upstaged by on-screen sister DeWitt. Hathaway's the big name here, though, so I understand the nom. The rest of the cast is pretty solid, too, including emotionally charged performances from Bill Irwin, Debra Winger and Mather Zickel.
If anything, Rachel Getting Married is a case study of how difficult it can be for an addict, especially a formerly destructive one, to re-assimilate into a family. Demme's bouncy camera work and excessively emotional moments make for a difficult watch that ultimately won't be for everyone. If you can handle the down notes, however, you'll be treated to quite the slice of newfangled, dysfunctional, family style Americana.
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