Rachel Getting Married is one of my favourite films of the year. It’s a completely original, unique experience I’ll never forget and one that I’ll always treasure. First off there’s the plot which follows Kym, played by an Oscar worthy Anne Hathaway, just out of rehab to join her family for the weekend as her sister, Rachel, is getting married. Family drama ensues. Don’t get me wrong, the story is interesting on it’s own, but deserving more attention is the actual wedding. This is the best fictional wedding in film. When the credits roll, it feels as if you did indeed attend Rachel and Sidney’s ceremony, and it’s a shame to have to leave. This is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in cinema this decade.
Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) is marrying Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe) at a backyard wedding with both families coming together for the very first time. Rachel, and her family, are white. Sidney, and his family, are black. This is never an issue. This is never brought up. The wedding displays their cultural diversity with various celebrations, dances and music. A testament to our (slowly) evolving society. The two families get along, ecstatic that bride and groom are happy. Many give colourful toasts, that are either sweet, funny, touching or all that at once. All of these speeches are completely authentic and help achieve a realistic, emotionally involving setting.
None of this would work without a superb cast. Anne Hathaway is absolute perfection as Kym, she plays a very troubled young woman who has occasional emotional outbursts but her performance is somewhat reserved. Hathaway doesn’t look to exaggerate any particular aspect of her character. She gives as human a rendering as one can. It’s a bit early, but Anne Hathaway is my pick for best actress so far this year. All the supporting players make up one of the most memorable casts of the year, at least up there with The Dark Knight and In Bruges, perhaps more so due to the size of the ensemble. Rosemarie DeWitt is great as Rachel. She and Tunde Adebimpe make for a very convincing engaged couple. The supporting actor that stands out the most for me is Bill Irwin. He plays the father with such convincing love, that it’s overwhelming. He brings happiness to his character complimented by a hidden reservoir of sadness we catch a couple devastating glimpses of. Irwin does not get prominent roles in film but he has one a Tony award. If it weren’t for Heath Ledger’s Joker, this would be my favourite supporting performance of the year.
Jonathan Demme has crafted a wonderful film from Jenny Lumet’s one of a kind screenplay. With the help of his cinematographer Declan Quinn, Demme has made a visually unprecedented film. It feels as if we are attending the wedding, moving from room to room, observing. I highly recommend this special movie to everyone, especially if you feel like going to a wedding.