Director: Justin Zackham
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes
Running time: 89 minutes
Alejandro (Barnes) and Missy (Seyfried) are to be married, only Al’s biological mother is a devout Catholic who believes divorce is a sin…and his adoptive parents (Keaton and DeNiro), you guessed it, are divorced. What’s the best solution? To pretend they’re married for the wedding weekend. Hilarity ensues…
Okay, I was being a little sarcastic there, but in truth this isn’t as terrible as it sounds. Sure you can see where everything is going right from the off, and I mean everything, from the inevitable caving of the sober father and the fate of the daughter who can’t have a baby right through to the devout Catholic biological mother who is essentially the catalyst to everything being perhaps less devout that they all thought. It’s one of those films that provides a service; you know exactly what you’re getting, but that’s fine because you’re not looking for something that will change your life. All you want is to feel a bit happy.
The cast is fantastic. Diane Keaton and Robin Williams, we all know, are a wonderful comedians (although Williams is a bit underused), Topher Grace showed his comedic capabilities in TV’s excellent That 70s Show, Susan Sarandon is a great actress and does have surprisingly good comedic chops, and DeNiro has – despite what some of his recent acting choices may argue – still got it. In one surprising scene he delivers a scathing summation of himself through a fractured monologue that just makes you think: “Oh yeah, that’s DeNiro.”
I feel rather compelled to talk even more kindly than I feel about the film simply because of how vitriolic the critics have been towards it. 7% on Rotten Tomatoes and quotes like “Pure claw-your-eyes-out cinema” have accompanied this completely inoffensive piece of fun, which I just find unjustifiably cynical. Okay, we understand it’s a bit flimsy and light, and isn’t exactly Four Weddings And A Funeral, but is there any need to be so utterly down on it? Has it really offended you that much? Take it from me: it’s not that bad. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but perfectly sweet, funny and feel-good. Thanks to critic sniffiness, it won’t get its ideal honeymoon, but it deserves at least a good reception.