Rachel Getting Married (2008) starring Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mather Zickel, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Anisa George, Debra Winger directed by Jonathan Demme Movie Review

Rachel Getting Married (2008)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married (2008)

A Problem with Problems

I watch a lot of movies and sometimes it is nice to come across a movie which tries to change things up with a less traditional look or storyline but I have found that you need to be in the right mood for when one of these not traditional movies hit. I say that because "Rachel Getting Married" did my head in and reminded me more of being forced to attend a family event and hating every moment from the supposedly happy sit down meals to being privy to the stressed arguments which go on in secret whilst snide remarks fly between siblings. That is made worse by the fact that we have had held camera work which whilst trying to throw us in to the middle gives "Rachel Getting Married" that feeling of an amateur movie shot by the guy next door.

After years of being in and out of rehab Kym's (Anne Hathaway - Get Smart) latest 9 month stint is going well and she is coming out for her sister's wedding. But returning home brings plenty of stress for Kym from an over protective father and a sister who becomes jealous that her special day starts to feel like it is all about catering to Kym and making sure she is okay.

Debra Winger in Rachel Getting Married (2008)

So story wise I actually liked "Rachel Getting Married" with the whole situation of a drug addict fresh from rehab thrown in to a big family situation. It throws up lots of real ideas from Kym's sister feeling the focus is on Kym rather than her to the whole strain of the situation of having to deal with family and strangers staring at her as well as an over protective dad who's concern comes across as lack of trust. As a dramatization of reality the ideas are good and in truth it was the desire to make it to the ending, to see if this wedding ended up a disaster as things get too much is what kept me going.

What almost made me switch off and give up on it as a lost cause was director Jonathan Demme's choice of styling because quite simply the hand held camera malarkey which shakes and randomly zooms in did my head in. I can understand the reason for this; it is all about making "Rachel Getting Married" real, making it feel like what we are watching is almost fly on the wall real rather manufactured. But the shuddering movement and needless zoom ins and quick pans make it feel like it is being shot by someone who makes home movies just with a more expensive camera. And the real frustrating thing is when you combine the shaky camera with the dysfunctional story it makes you feel like you are at a family wedding which you really don't want to be at.

As for the acting well Anne Hathaway's performance was good if a little too whiney for me but the whole time I kept on thinking what would Maggie Gyllenhaal would have done as this felt more like the sort of movie she would have done. But then here is another problem of the raw styling as we have other characters such as Kym's sister and father but we just see them as annoying people with no character depth. It means that all we witness is arguments, stress and more arguments which is not for me.

What this all boils down to is that "Rachel Getting Married" reminded me of being at a family event that I didn't want to be at and then shown the video of the day by the guy next door who videoed it. It didn't do it for me as whilst there were some good ideas to the story the whole styling made it exceptionally hard work.