Katherine Heigl puked on Robert De Niro, and he still had a better time
than I did at The Big Wedding.
Missy (Amanda Seyfried) and Alejandro (Ben Barnes) are getting married,
but, as the big wedding day approaches, everyone in this large family
Alejandro was adopted, and hasn’t told his birth mother,
Madonna (Patricia Rae), that his adopted parents, Ellie (Diane Keaton)
and Don (Robert De Niro) have gotten divorced, so they need to pretend
to be happily married, and you know that won’t lead to
anything good (I learned that from watching Three’s
Lyla (Katherine Heigl) doesn’t want to tell her parents she
is getting divorced, so she is all mopey and bitter, especially since
she still hates Don for the divorce.
Alejandro’s adopted brother, Jared (Topher Grace), has eyes
for Alejandro’s birth sister, Nuria (Ana Ayora), which may or
may not be taboo, but he doesn’t really let that get in his
thought process while she is parading around naked.
And, so much more emerges as tensions rise and mouths open!
While watching The Big Wedding,
I started wondering if there was some sort of delivery mix up and this
script and contract was sent to Robert De Niro accidentally instead of
to someone like Tim Allen or Tom Arnold. How else to explain De Niro
ending up in the same movie as Katherine Heigl?
Then, I started hoping this might be a Robert De Niro movie, and
Katherine Heigl just got lucky. Maybe this would be her big comeback
movie or a chance to show she can be an award winner.
But, in the first five minutes, De Niro’s character offers to
perform oral sex on Susan Sarandon’s character, and you
realize this is going to be a nightmare. It's a Katherine Heigl movie!
It gets worse.
If 1980 Robert De Niro could travel through time and see 2013 Robert De
Niro, he would punch him square in the nuts. Maybe nothing should shock
me after seeing De Niro in The
Fockers movies, Rocky
and Bullwinkle or New
Year’s Eve, because
shame was left behind decades ago, but it’s still
disconcerting and disappointing to see him do something like The
Big Wedding (fresh off the Oscar
nominated turn in Silver
On paper, Don could be a fascinating character with a grizzled
background, questionable morality, and massive flaws, but The
Big Wedding is not that kind of
movie as it destroys your view of De Niro, Keaton, Sarandon and even
Seyfried, all of whom slummed it for this lame, transparent attempt at
producing a mass appeal movie that would be better located on the
Lifetime network than your local Cineplex. Even Lifetime might reject
this thing, because they have better standards, so I should give them
Writer/director Justin Zackham (based on a French movie) never does
much with The Big Wedding
other than try to come up with as many embarrassing situations as
possible for the cast. Being randy replaces actual emotion and liking
the characters on screen. We even get a bunch of jokes about Don
getting drunk, after we have learned he has gone through Alcoholics
Anonymous, just to prove no subject is off limits as Zackham
desperately tries to mine comedy gold out of every scene, but comes up
with comedy crap instead.
Just by himself, De Niro’s Don is subject to getting puked
on, falling in a pool, creepily diving in to orally pleasure
Sarandon’s character, receiving several slaps to the face and
trying, out loud, to figure out how to deal with his Viagra-induced
erection when interrupted mid-coital. It’s as if De Niro lost
a bet or was forced by the karmic Gods to pay for some heinous crime,
while the rest of the cast doesn’t fair much better.
Almost every joke is predictable and flat, leaving us with a movie that
is just not funny, let alone funny enough to be the farce and romp The
Big Wedding was intended to be.
Big Wedding is rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity.