Rachel Getting Married

( 18 )

Overview

Lingering tensions clash with new hopes in director Jonathan Demme's ensemble drama set during an idyllic wedding that threatens to descend into chaos with the appearance of the bride's estranged sister -- a volatile and unpredictable girl whose turbulent history of personal crisis and family conflict quickly threatens to take precedence over the happy ceremony. Rachel Buchman Rosemarie DeWitt is about to be married to the love of her life, but while the weather outside may be perfect, there's a storm blowing in....
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Overview

Lingering tensions clash with new hopes in director Jonathan Demme's ensemble drama set during an idyllic wedding that threatens to descend into chaos with the appearance of the bride's estranged sister -- a volatile and unpredictable girl whose turbulent history of personal crisis and family conflict quickly threatens to take precedence over the happy ceremony. Rachel Buchman Rosemarie DeWitt is about to be married to the love of her life, but while the weather outside may be perfect, there's a storm blowing in. That storm goes by the name Kym Anne Hathaway. Kym is the family black sheep, and wherever she goes disaster is sure to follow. Now, as friends and family gather together for a memorable day of dining, dancing, and celebration, everyone braces themselves knowing that, at any given moment, old skeletons may be dragged out and dusted off for display by the bombshell who seems to have an acerbic one-liner for every situation, and a flare for drama that could set their family home ablaze. Bill Irwin and Debra Winger co-star.
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Special Features

Deleted Scenes; Filmmaker and Cast Commentaries ; Cast & Crew Q & A ; A Look behind the scenes of Rachel Getting Married; The Wedding Band
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Rachel Getting Married reminds audiences what Jonathan Demme does best, but also suffers from the same faults that have mucked up his recent work. The film opens with Kym's Anne Hathaway father Bill Irwin and stepmother picking her up from rehab so that Kym can go home for her sister Rachel's Rosemarie DeWitt nuptials. The family house overflows with musicians, artists, and friends who are busy preparing for the big event; someone in the house is playing music almost all of the time. Within minutes of her arrival, the dysfunctional relationships within the family fall into a familiar rut with Rachel yelling at Kym for her selfishness, Kym demanding sympathy from everyone, and their ineffectual dad trying to keep the peace. Hathaway and DeWitt are superb together. There is no doubt of their genuine love for -- and absolute exasperation with -- each other. Your sympathies shift between the two during the opening scenes, and this is one of Demme's great strengths -- he never judges Kym for her addictions, and never questions Rachel's frustration and anger. The actresses each deliver finely detailed performances, particularly in the scenes where their recriminations fall away to reveal the genuine affection flowing underneath all the resentments. Had Demme focused on this human drama he might have created a minor-key masterpiece, but instead he indulges in sequences featuring all the other people who are part of the wedding. Understand, these scenes don't actually introduce us to all these people -- we don't get to know them at all -- they are just simple moments that don't add up to anything. For example, a series of toasts during the rehearsal dinner starts charmingly before devolving into speech after speech from characters you've barely seen before and might not see again; eventually, you feel as bored as you would be at a social function where you don't know a single person. Demme's humanism used to be effortless, but here it leads to deadening collections of scenes that serve no dramatic purpose. Demme wants us to observe the diversity, but he makes us look at it for so long that you start to question why he's making us stare at it instead of trusting us to accept that this is how this world is. He presents cultural diversity with a dispassion that's meant to illustrate how ordinary this idealized picture of togetherness should be, but observing a microcosm of a social utopia isn't as interesting as being part of one. By failing to return regularly to his engaging main story, Demme neuters the power of his own subtext. From his early days with Roger Corman, Demme possessed both a gargantuan humanism and a light touch. Few filmmakers could put characters as odd as those that populate Melvin and Howard, Citizens Band, and Something Wild onscreen without an ounce of judgment or condescension. In Hannibal Lecter, Demme finally found a character that matched his own ability to observe human behavior. This sympathetic connection helped make The Silence of the Lambs a classic, but it seems to have exhausted Demme creatively. In Philadelphia and Beloved, he ceased looking at people for the sheer joy of understanding them, and began to look at them out of some sense that his audience would become better people for having done so. That kind of moral ambition rarely leads to quality filmmaking. Rachel Getting Married does offer a glimpse of the simple humanitarianism Demme used to handle with aplomb, but once again, it's compromised by mild self-righteousness.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/10/2009
  • UPC: 043396300361
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled / Dubbed
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:53:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 12,696

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anne Hathaway Kym Buchman
Rosemarie DeWitt Rachel Buchman
Bill Irwin Paul Buchman
Tunde Adebimpe Sidney Williams
Debra Winger Abby
Mather Zickel Kieran
Anna Deavere Smith Carol
Anisa George Emma
Jerome LePage Andrew
Victoria Haynes Bridesmaid
Beau Sia Wedding Czar
Annaleigh Ashford Quick Stop Cashier
Quincy Tyler Bernstine 12-Step Receptionist
Robert W. Castle
Roger Corman Party Guest with Movie Camera
Sister Carol East Wedding Band Performer
Michele Federer 12-Step Reader
Fab Five Freddy Wedding Performer
Tamyra Gray Singing Friend
Elizabeth Hayes Susanna Galeano
Robyn Hitchcock Wedding Band Performer
Pastor Melvin Jones 12-Step Speaker
Kyrah Julian Sidney's Sister
Darrell Larson 12-Step Group Leader
Carol Jean Lewis Sidney's Mom
Roslyn Ruff Rosa
Innbo Shim Wedding Planner
Matthew Stadelmann 12-Step First-Timer
Sebastian Stan Walter, bowtie party guest
Zafer Tawil Violin Friend
Technical Credits
Jonathan Demme Director, Producer
Neda Armian Producer
H.H. Cooper Asst. Director, Co-producer
Carol Cuddy Executive Producer
Donald Harrison Jr. Score Composer
Elizabeth Hayes Associate Producer
Ilona Herzberg Executive Producer
Kim Jennings Art Director
Jenny Lumet Screenwriter
Susan Lyall Costumes/Costume Designer
Marc E. Platt Producer
Declan Quinn Cinematographer
Innbo Shim Associate Producer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Tim Squyres Editor
Zafer Tawil Score Composer
Bernie Telsey Casting
Ford Wheeler Production Designer
Emily Woodburne Associate Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring

    I LOVED this movie, I'm no recovering drug addict but I could totally relate to Anne Hathaway's character. We've all made mistakes, some we feel are unforgettable, and this movie is about trying to pick up the pieces and start over again, even if people don't really believe in you or trust you...it was a tear jerker...least for me it was. But a great movie, i highly recommend you give it a try.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Not your average hollywood blockbuster

    One of the best written films I've seen in a while. It has a rare form of emotional intellect and realism that isn't easy to find. I think its pretty typical that the popular and well liked movies have heavy, convoluted plots and not much emphasis on character. This movie offers the exact opposite formula and I think that accounts for a lot of the negative reviews. The directing and overall cinematography does take a while to get used to but if you take the effort to connect with the characters and the story, I don't think its hard to understand or appreciate why the movie was shot in that fashion. Rachel Getting Married is meant to be personal. And the style of the writing and the directing relays that very well. This is a very cohesive project that does require a little give and take from the viewer. But ultimately its a very moving character piece well worth a watch.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Misunderstood Masterpiece

    This movie was incredible. I have studied film, and I can tell you what technically makes a good film, and what makes a bad one. The people giving this movie bad reviews are obviously of the group that have no intellect concerning movies beyond what entertains them and grabs their spastic attention. I have heard people say there are awkward scenes and long gaps of silence, and even pointless camera angles. This is a load of hogwash. The director chose to shoot every angle for a specific reason. The entire film was shot with a handheld camera, which distinguishes it from other films in the same category. The plot was emotional (for those of us with similar experiences). The "boring" parts were actually there for emphasis and drawing-in, but people obviously cannot wrap their brains around that. Just because there isn't a giant robot sending a missile hurtling toward the planet does not mean this movie is boring. I hope more people will give this film a chance, because at this rate it will end up as the diamond in the ruff of misunderstood masterpieces. After seeing this movie once I know it is one of my favorites. (And I have seen A LOT of movies.) Anne Hathaway said herself that by the end of reading the script she was on the floor crying. This is the film I wish I had written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    awful

    Couldn't get through it. Shot in an annoying hand-held jittery camera style. On top of this, it also had an "ad-libbed" writing style. I thought this movie was horrible.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Unsuspectingly Good

    I bought this movie after seeing a trailer and it didn't come out in my state. This was a good movie though I was really surprise at the complexity and how well it was. It almost shot in a documentary style and it feels at time like you are watching a documentary. The way the music is presented is vary different from most movies. The family in it seem vary real. Ane Hathaway gives a memorable performance and show just hard addiction can be. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is willing to take a chance on something different.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Avoid this movie more than the H1N1 Flu

    I am an Anne Hathaway fan however this movie is a complete train wreck. Not even Anne's acting ability was able to salvage this clunker. The dialogue scenes were way too long and annoying. I am not sure what the director was trying to accomplish other than complete boredom. I want my time back!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    love Anne Hathaway...hate the movie

    Omigosh....do not waste your time or money....I watched the whole thing but wished I hadn't....wished I had not spent the money but who knew that Anne Hathaway would be in such a yucky movie....and she was nominated for some award....Puhleeze!!! Bad movie.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Just plain BAD.

    Imagine watching an amateur home video of a bunch of annoying strangers. Now imagine watching it for almost 2 hours. That's what this movie is like. Anne Hathaway's performance is good, but no where near enough to save this train wreck of a movie.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Can this really be a Jonathan Demme Film?

    RACHEL GETTING MARRIED proved to be an entry card for Anne Hathaway's Oscar nomination, and while she turns in a strong performance, there is really very little else to recommend this film so unlike the work of Jonathan Demme. Written by Jenny Lumet, the story of a dysfunctional family on the weekend of the marriage of daughter Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) being upturned by the arrival of daughter Kym (Hathaway) on temporary leave from a rehab center and the clashes that occur from this planned happy event being replaced by the revelation of occult demons from the past is the nearly two hour noisy ennui that forms this film.

    There are a few moments of interest (Kym's AA meeting revelations, the tragedy that drove Kym's mother - adroitly played by Debra Winger - away in divorce, and the clash between Rachel and Kym), but the bulk of this film is noisy partying that goes on forever and adds very little to the tension that should have been the focus of the film. For this viewer the performance (albeit brief) by Debra Winger is the reason to sit through this otherwise pretty boring film. One would expect the presence of the fine actress Anna Deavere Smith to heighten the action, but she is given little to do except fade into the woodwork. It is an interminable wedding celebration that only at the end finds a center. Grady Harp

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 28, 2009

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    Posted August 5, 2010

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    Posted May 25, 2009

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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    Posted March 23, 2010

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    Posted March 29, 2009

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    Posted March 11, 2009

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    Posted January 27, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews