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:: Rachel Getting Married

Actress, Anne Hathaway, has made some terrible films recently so it’s good to see her taking a risk and appearing in a film that slants onto the alternative side. ‘Rachel Getting Married’ is as far removed from the romantic-comedy genre than you can possibly get. This is an edgy film that tries to emulate the humor of ‘Juno’ and the dramatic feel of a movie like ‘Thirteen’.

‘Rachel Getting Married’ tells the story of two sisters, Kym (Anne Hathaway) and Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt). Kym is a recovering drug addict who leaves rehab to attend Rachel’s wedding; she is nervous about seeing her family again as her drug addiction resulted in the accidental death of her brother, Ethan. While her father, Paul (Bill Irwin) is excited about having her home not all her family feels the same way, especially Rachel’s best friend, Emma (Anisa George).

Director Jonathan Demme’s choice to shoot this film ‘hand-held’ style is an interesting decision and possibly one that will frustrate some viewers as this is a style frowned on by most cinema-goers. While originally it feels that the style has been selected to help tell Kym’s story, this feeling soon disappears when you realise that it has simply be done for ‘art's sake’. The long scenes involving the wedding speeches and music at the reception are also a big risk on Demme’s part, and you have to wonder what possessed him to make these decisions.

Still for the most part ‘Rachel Getting Married’ is a joy to watch. Screenwriter, Jenny Lumet’s script reeks of a realism that most films fail to deliver. This script combined with what could be an award-winning performance by Anne Hathaway certainly makes you feel like you are watching a home video; even the dialogue flows just like a natural conversation. Scenes such as Kym’s argument with her mother and the drive home afterwards keep the audience on the edge of their seat, as does the anticipation of how this weekend will end for Kym.

The other standout performance in ‘Rachel Getting Married’ is by Bill Irwin. Irwin’s role is just as harrowing as Hathaway’s and he is fautless as he struggles to hold his family together on a weekend that should be one of the family’s happiest.

Apart from a few minor hiccups ‘Rachel Getting Married’ is a good drama that will be enjoyed by people who love films like ‘The Upside Of Anger’. Hathaway shines in a role that many would question whether she would have the ability to pull off. A serious topic pulled off quite well.