TCP #29: Rachel Getting Married
This film, which stars Anne Hathaway, alternates between the hilarious and heartbreaking. It's not an easy film to watch especially for those with strong family hangups (uhm, not looking at the mirror here). Anne's character, Kym, is allowed a few days' pass from rehab to go home and attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel. The tension is palpable, and it builds up as family dysfunctions get stirred up, especially when Kym finds out that her sister's best friend was asked to be maid of honor instead of her. That scene is only the start as various twists and sub-plots unravel. And yet there is just the right blend of humor with drama as to make this a good film to watch.
But its qualification for my choice as entry is based primarily on the wedding ceremony. (This is, after all, a wedding post.) Rachel is marrying Sidney, who's black, and their wedding is an Indian ceremony. Asian Indian, not American Indian. Talk about diversity! The rehearsal dinner was alternately sweet, (the guests' toasts), sour (Kym's toast! bummer!), and stirring (especially the speech of Sidney's mother for Rachel) .
The wedding itself was a unique ceremony with participation by the congregation. It was a wonderful celebration of a beautiful relationship that drew in families and friends, and enlarged itself to accommodate even those who were difficult to accept. Watch for the bride and groom's speeches, people, it will make you cry, I promise you!!!
I loved how this film showed the tendency of big events like a wedding to bring up a family's painful skeletons. (Isn't this what always happens during family reunions?) But it does so in such a way as to flesh out each character's strengths and flaws so that each person is a complete human, not a caricature or a stereotype. It also enabled me to see parts of myself in a new light, and my relationships with my family members in a whole new perspective. It was enlightening, fun, and it ended on a hopeful note.
My favorite quote (and Kikamz, this is dedicated to you):
"Nachtmahr. You don't know Nachtmahr?"
"Nachtmahr was a nightmare so bad it's in German."
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