Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

Last night I saw Rachel Getting Married. Jonathan Demme has made some great films, and that's why people choose to forget that he's made some others that weren't as great. I don't think you should go into this film, thinking about Jonathan Demme. Though you'll probably see it because of Anne Hathaway, who I've never had a problem with and who I think is the least interesting part of this movie.
It's a strange, strange film. There's no plot, though there's plenty of story. It's a fantasy multicultural joyous wedding movie, a cliched, stupid drug addict out of rehab movie, an incredible family character study, a strange, strange movie. It's like Ordinary People meets Monsoon Wedding meets Girl, Interrupted set in a mythical Connecticut I didn't grow up in. The camerawork's a little irritating, a little Bourne/Cloverfield, which I don't love, but you get used to it.
I don't know what to say about it because it's not really original when you think about it, and yet it feels completely unique and unpretentious (I'm talking to you, Noah Baumbach). I wish Rosemarie DeWitt and Bill Irwin (the mute guy in Northern Exposure, speaking, wonderful!) were in more movies. I feel like I met Mather Zickel once at a party or saw him at UCB or something. Or maybe he's just very similar to Jarrett Grode, who I DID see at a party once. He's good. Surprising casting. Anne's just a bit shrieky, and I suppose you could argue she does her character justice but it feels like a star in an indie film. She's not an "actor" anymore. She's a commodity. And she's just too big for it. Though it's probably why it's getting any attention. Sorry, Demme, it ain't cause of you.
The music was interesting, persistent, added to the surrealism.
The sisters' relationship, however, was incredibly authentic. That's a bit how I am with my sisters. Brutal, but loving, but really, sometimes, you just want to beat the pulp out of them. Of course, no one else is allowed to. So that's the writer's skill shining through. Go, Jenny Lumet.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen