Rachel Getting Married
starring Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tunde Adebimpe, Bill Irwin and Debra Winger
written by Jenny Lumet
directed by Jonathan Demme
Anne Hathaway plays Kym, the junkie daughter of a dysfunctional family released from rehab in time to attend her sister’s wedding. Chain-smoking, chopped-off black hair, self-centered, anti-social nihilist: this girl’s got a real Gothic thing going that immediately appealed to me. The picture on the DVD box cover of the short-haired Anne Hathaway is what originally caught my eye because it reminded me of Thora Birch in Ghost World, another groovy Gothic chic. Kym is a very different role from the sickeningly sweet things Hathaway usually plays, and she does it well, I think. It is nowhere near an honestly dark, rough-side-of-life story, but for Anne Hathaway it’s pretty gritty.
Back home, Kym suffers all the bother of her every move being monitored by a concerned father who fears for anythingshe might do. Been there, done that. Predictably, she almost destroys her sister’s Big Day, which is the stage for their perpetual sibling rivalry. But she recovers and the wedding goes off without incident and with a lot of crying, reconciliation and love - not the embracing, reconciling love that Kym wants, but it’s very touching and human, congruent with The Wrestler, I suppose.
Why am I attracted to articulate Gothic girls, tattooed Nietzcheans, well-read angry and lost outsiders? Probably because I am a lost outsider, too. (I’m not angry, but I am well read.) They’re my tribe. I’m living in Japan, after all. I was never a junkie, and I never crashed my parents’ car. But I had other things going on growing up in Guelph that made me the closest thing in my family to this kind of character. I’ve got the permanent marks on my body to prove it, too.
Rachel Getting Married is a bit of a misnomer, I think, because this is Kym’s story more than Rachel’s, I think. Shot like a family movie, or video, it’s an interesting technique. Not as bad as the jerky hand-held camera effect of The Blair Witch Project, but that contrast gives you an idea of what it looks like visually.
I wanted to rate Rachel Getting Married higher than I did, but the family movie technique coupled with the constant music turned me off. There is some very talented, sort of arcane music by Zafer Tawil that Director Jonathan Demme is quite proud of. But the crowded, noisy, non-stop visiting, talking and music of the extended family get-together didn’t sync with me. I just thought, “Shut the f--k up! Enough already!” I, too, would want to get out of the house and away from a family like Kym’s.
I knew that Debra Winger was in this film and so I looked for her because I wanted to see her. But I missed her entirely. I saw her name in the credits and thought, “That was Debra Winger?!”