The Big Wedding (Movie Review) – Despite a likeable De Niro, this latest rom-com flops

The Big Wedding. (2013). Run Time: 90 mins. MPAA: R (for language, sexual content, and brief nudity). Starring Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Susan Sarandon, and Robin Williams. Written by Justin Zackham. Directed by Justin Zackham.

What happens when you put Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, and Susan Sarandon in the same family and have Robin Williams play a Catholic priest? One would hope it would be better than what Justin Zackham gives us in The Big Wedding, a sloppy and meaningless addition to the romantic comedy genre. Zackham’s film is riddled with virtually every cliché in the book, which is one of the many reasons why it reeks of unattractiveness. As stated, it’s clichéd, but that’s not all that’s wrong with The Big Wedding. It’s unoriginal, sloppy, dopy, weird, sometimes disgusting, forceful, and most times unfunny. Most times unfunny. Sometimes it is. Robert De Niro is hilarious, but then again, it’s Robert De Niro. He could be on screen for two seconds and make you laugh. The rest of the cast is fine also, including Robin Williams who was sometimes gut-bustingly funny. It’s not the cast that bothers me. It’s the script and direction. Nothing adds up. Nothing means anything. When I walked out I just felt numb. There are no emotional attachments in this movie. There is nothing to care about. It’s just a giant bland mess.

I had an open mind going into The Big Wedding because the cast is a pretty dang good lineup. My mind was open, though, because I know that just because a movie has a good cast doesn’t mean it will be good (look at the horrendous Playing For Keeps, a film I ranked as one of the worst of 2012). Also, I was very excited to see Robert De Niro play in a romantic comedy fresh off his Oscar-nominated performance in Silver Linings Playbook, the 2012 romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who were both nominated as well, the latter winning. Silver Linings Playbook was actually my favorite movie of the year (I know The Dark Knight Rises was no. 1 on my list but I wrote that list before I saw Silver Linings), and it was exciting to think of De Niro being in another rom-com. He is fine, yes. But if you’re taking my advice, skip this film, and just buy Silver Linings Playbook when it is released on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday. Yes, a convenient time to release it, given the bad taste that will be in audiences’ mouths after this film.

FINAL VERDICT: As I stated earlier, when I walked out of this movie I felt a kind of numbness, and because of that I really have nothing else to say about The Big Wedding. It’s just a sloppy and pointless entry into a booming genre. If you are interested in seeing this movie just because of De Niro and the fact that it is a romantic comedy, then my advice is to just watch Silver Linings Playbook. Same concept. Yet the difference is you won’t be disappointed. Already seen Silver Linings? Watch it again. You know it’s worth it. (D)

One comment

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