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Rachel Getting Married


Stars: Anne Hathaway, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin, Rosemary Dewitt, Anisa George, Mather Zickel, Anne Deavere Smith

Director: Jonathan Demme

Cursing, shouting and screaming at one another, that familiar unit, the dysfunctional American family, lurches once again on to our screens, tearing each other's throats out on the eve of a daughter's wedding.

Chain-smoking Kym (Hathaway), out of alcohol rehab after a period in jail for causing the death of her younger brother in a car crash while high on drugs, is edgy and defensive - not surprising as everyone is mean to her. Father (Irwin) doesn't want her to drive, while the bride (Dewitt) is aggressively antagonistic from the get-go.

Emma (George), displaced by Kym as maid of honour, is hardly better, while Mom (Winger, in an inauspicious return), long divorced from Dad, not only lets rip at Kym, but hits her too.

This is the kind of film where a star actress hopes to beef up her acting credentials by effing and blinding with the best of them and, in truth, Hathaway, like most of the cast, is perfectly OK - though Irwin overacts as Dad. Even so, this is a thoroughly miserable film, only lightened slightly by an (over) extended final sequence at a wedding that has obviously never heard of the credit crunch.

Demme has been one of my favourite directors down the years, but he can't really give you many reasons to watch this one.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Sony (Sony Pictures Classics). Colour by deluxe.
113 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 17 Jan 2009