I am not a ‘catty’ girl. I don’t normally broadcast on my blog to avoid going to someones wedding, especially after I’ve been to it. But I have to say after attending Rachel’s wedding at VIFF, the Vancouver International Film Festival, on Saturday, I am telling you all to stay away.
‘Rachel Getting Married’ got great reviews coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival. Apparently it was a festival favourite and as such, it was the film of choice for VIFF’s Sponsor’s Gala. These reviews boggle my mind, as a film that I was really excited about seeing, quickly reminded me of why I am so selective about what I will go see in a theater. For a reason that I have yet to ascertain, the director, Jonathan Demme, decided to film the entire thing on a handheld camera in the style of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Open Water‘. I was not a fan of this style for the aforementioned films, as it makes me motion sick and want to be violently ill. It does, however, make sense using this format of filming in telling the stories of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Open Water’, as we are getting the POV (Point of View) of one of the characters. This was not the case for ‘Rachel Getting Married’. Using a handheld, was not for a POV or to further along the story in anyway that I could discern. It’s only purpose, as far as I could determine, was to make me want to puke, especially when they decided to use it for dance scene after dance scene causing me to close my eyes and hold my head in the theater as these scenes continued for an excruciatingly long period of time. Had I not been sitting in the Sponsors Gala Screening with a friend and well known writer in town, I would have exited this film early.
In truth, the other reason that I stayed was that the writer in me was determined to see if there was something in the story that merited the reviews it received in Toronto. By the end, I wondered whether I could just see no good as I was feeling so ill, so I consulted with those sitting around me, who voiced the same thoughts going through my head. Where was the story? As far as we could figure all that was there was a painfully depressing account of a dysfunctional family with none of the humour that accompanies family life and very few glimmers as to the beautiful humanity behind the characters. For goodness sakes, the poor man playing the father was simply portrayed as this pathetically weak individual with little else to him. I was just glad this was not a Canadian film.
So why did it get such good reviews out of Toronto? I’m guessing, because Anne Hathaway was in it and it portrayed her in a new role – that I’ve a broken child, who’d brought a great deal of pain to her family and herself through her affliction with drugs. Trust me though, seeing Anne Hathaway in this role is not worth losing an hour and half of your life to this movie or still feeling sick for the following 4 hours (despite the post film beers to settle your stomach).
Apparently, I am not alone in my view of the movie:
- Taunton Daily Gazette
- The Village Voice