tek's rating: ¾

Rachel Getting Married (R)
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Kym Buchman (Anne Hathaway) gets a temporary release from rehab to attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel, to Sidney Williams. Kym was hoping for a bit more privacy than she had in rehab, but of course there are lots of people around, preparing for the wedding: two large families, and any number of friends. Meanwhile, Kym has to go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings. One of the people at the meeting is a guy named Kieran, whom she later sees again at her parents' house, as he turns out to be Sidney's best man. Kym and Kieran immediately hook up, and throughout the film it will be clear that he's concerned for her, because he understands how hard it can be for a recovering addict to have to deal with family. But this isn't a romance film, it's a film about family, so Kieran remains mostly a background character. The real drama comes from Kym's strained relations with her entire family, including Rachel, and their father Paul. (And incidentally, when he first introduced himself as Paul Buchman, I really wished someone would make a comment about Mad About You, but no one ever did. Oh well.) Anyway, Kym and Rachel both resent each other, and they both (for different reasons) resent their father's constant worrying about Kym. And Kym also has complicated feelings towards their mother, Abby (Debra Winger), from whom Paul is divorced. (Paul is apparently now married to a woman named Carol, and I guess Abby is either married to or involved with someone named Andrew, though we don't see much of him.) Kym also has a deeply strained relationship with Rachel's best friend, Emma. But the biggest issue hanging over everyone is the death of Kym and Rachel's little brother, Ethan, years ago. I won't spoil the details of that, though.

So, anyway... there's lots of drama, lots of resentment, lots of anger, lots of sadness, lots of guilt. It's a very dark and depressing movie. But there's also some humor, and some happiness, and reconciliation. And it all felt a lot more real than movies generally do. Like, I really believed all these characters were family, with a real history together. It felt like their past was something they'd actually lived through, you know? And aside from that, I thought the wedding itself, as well as the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception, were all pretty great. For the most part. And I don't know what else to say, except of course I'm glad to have seen the movie, even if I'll probably never want to watch it again.

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