Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

Lordy. I tend to not read reviews before I see movies. For one, I like to form my own impressions. For another, reviews have so many spoilers in them I often feel I’ve seen the movie before I go. Between that and the previews, which tend to give away the entire movie and the best moments of the film, it’s hard to see a movie fresh. That’s a long wind up for why I hadn’t read any reviews of “Rachel Getting Married” before I saw it. Well…it may be the one time I wish I’d read a review.

Anne Hathaway is good (though I did often catch myself seeing her as Anne Hathaway trying not to seem like such a princess for once). The character of her sister, Rachel, is amazing, as is that of the best man. Bill Irwin, as the dad, is great. And so is Debra Winger, as the mother. It’s very real, very authentic. There are some wonderful moments in the film.

But in the end, I turned to Paul and said, “It’s the new ‘Ordinary People.’” That’s not a total dig…at least not from the perspective of the average viewer. My problem with this movie, as a viewer, comes purely from the baggage I bring to the theater. Sibling loss—the theme at the center of OP and RGM—has particular and painful resonance for me. The tragedy at the center of this movie is so unbearable, and the way that they keep pushing it in your face is kind of, what’s the word, unyielding?, at times, that I almost couldn’t watch it.

I actually know of a family that had a similar thing happen…so it’s not like it was out of the realm of the possible. It’s just that for me, this movie was too real. No movie-escapism here for me. I left feeling like I’d been run over by a truck, and then backed over for good measure.

No comments: