Daily Archives: 28 March 2009


DVD viewing

Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting Married has been on my list of films to see since I first read about it last fall. That it’s an “indie” means there are not many chances for it to appear in my small town, and I never made it to Dallas when it was playing in the cinema there. With its celebration at this year’s Oscars, I was even more interested and took the first opportunity on its DVD release to set aside time to finally watch it. Thankfully, it was everything I imagined it would be.

The story of the film is simple but the power of the film lies in its cast. Anne Hathaway’s role of younger sister Kym, a woman of great angst and pain, is the center of the story as she returns to her hometown, fresh out of rehab, in order to participate in her sister’s wedding. As the sister, Rachel, Rosemarie DeWitt is every bit the counterbalance to Kym. Both sisters share a great family tragedy, but it is the differences in how each family member copes with that enduring pain that generates the life of this film. It is a heartbreaking film. So very difficult to watch. So very easy to judge the characters. Yet so real that it’s impossible to find fault with any of them. Unless you have experienced such a tragedy in your own life, there is no way to understand what drives these people. There is no way to come to terms with just who is the better person, the better sister, the better friend. Rachel Getting Married is about relationship amidst tragedy. About whether blood is enough to bind people together, no matter the circumstance.

As is the norm these days, this film was full of jarring moments that offended my morals and sensibilities. And yet, I expected as much since the primary character is a recovering addict. Despite the profanity and occasional sudden sexual moments, the film managed to stay focused on the relational aspects of the story more than the shock factors. My one complaint (so to speak) was the never-ending segments of musical performance. That Rachel’s fiancĂ© is a musician seemed to give the director free rein to showcase every musican who was a guest at the wedding. Honestly, it was tiresome for me, and after a couple of minutes I simply hit the fast-forward to skip to scenes with verbal interaction. But this is a minor issue in an otherwise flawless story. Rachel Getting Married is a film that endures, and Hathaway and DeWitt will forever be sisters in my mind.

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