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Big Wedding, The, (AF)


Stars: Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes, Christine Ebersole, David Rasche, Patricia Rae, Ana Ayora

Director: Justin Zackham

If there is one thing this dismally unfunny foul-mouthed misfiring romcom proves, it’s that writer (The Bucket List) and misfiring debut director Justin Zackham patently doesn’t know his farce from his elbow. His attempts at rom and com fall flatter than the Dead Sea.

There are fewer laughs on offer than botched root canal work carried out by a drunken dentist with fingers suffering from advanced arthritis. Zackham (whose screenplay is based – and they should sue – on French writers Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan’s script for their farce Mon Frère Se Marie) must have thought he’d hit the jackpot with the signing of a starry cast led by Robert De Niro and featuring Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Robin Williams.

So what went wrong? Just about everything. The essential plot has divorced De Niro and Keaton pretending they are still happily married in order not to shock Williams – horrendously miscast as a Catholic priest – and ensure Ben Barnes and their daughter's wedding goes ahead.

Cue clichés and terminally unfunny low jinks (Heigl vomits over De Niro – could it be that possibly she finally realised what she had done by making the movie?) follow, including De Niro preparing for cunnilingus with his girlfriend Sarandon and enough bad language to ensure a Channel 4 screening.

And it hardly helps that De Niro is to comedy what Long John Silver was to tap dancing.

If you’re invited to the film, make your excuses and leave. Otherwise, recommend it to someone you hate.

Alan Frank

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Lionsgate UK. Technicolor.
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 31 May 2013