Rachel Getting Married [Blu-Ray] Jonathan Demme

Rachel Getting Married [Blu-Ray] Jonathan Demme
With all the over-the-top praise heaped on this "Jonathan Demme comeback" picture, there should be a support group for haters of Rachel Getting Married. It may be a buzz kill but from these eyes, Demme's bleak picture is mere contrived melodrama masquerading as realism. Anne Hathaway smokes and wears black eyeliner in order to convince us that her character (Kym Buckman) is a time bomb of emotions waiting to lash out against her family. She's just been released from rehab for her drug addiction, which contributed to her younger brother's death. That's a hell of a lot of baggage to bring to her sister Rachel's wedding, which, for dramatic convenience, is scheduled the day after she gets out. Kym immediately resents being relegated to the end of the rehearsal dinner table and being ostracized from maid of honour duties. In a number of heated arguments during the pre-wedding activities blame is shifted between everyone in the family: dad, for being too controlling; Rachel, for being the perfect daughter; Kym, for demanding everyone's attention; and mom, for not taking any responsibility for the children whatsoever. Demme concentrates so much on the Buckmans he forgets there are other people in the room. Somehow the incumbent family doesn't seem to care about the domestic fireworks because we never get a reaction from them. Rachel's fiancé, Sidney (hipster stunt casting of TV On the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe), never tries to intervene, never rolls his eyes and never says a word. In the spaces between the domestic disputes and sibling rivalry, Demme's improvised wedding scenes are unbearably long and dull, specifically the ten-minute-long rehearsal dinner where we get to sit through all the speeches from the wedding party, stuff that's excruciating enough at real weddings. As for the trendy mélange of cultures represented at the wedding, African-American, Jewish, South Asian and Hawaiian cultures are all mashed together, and when the Carnival-style Brazilian samba band show up near the end it moves long past excessive and into ironic, unintentional comedy. Anyone for a group hug? The Blu-Ray edition offers a super-crisp image transferred well from the original high-def original footage. Curiously, neither Ms. Hathaway nor Mr. Demme contributed to the two audio commentaries, but fans of the film may find interest in Demme's methodology, which is partly on display in the behind-the-scenes featurettes. (Sony)