If you’ve heard of Justin Zackham before, it’s probably because of his screenplay for Rob Reiner’s film The Bucket List, which starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as cancer patients who go on an adventure to see and do as many important things as possible before they die. Now Zackham has moved on to his first major project as a writer-director, The Big Wedding.
Based on Jean-Stéphane Bron’s 2006 film Mon frère se marie, The Big Wedding is a family comedy about a divorced couple temporarily forced to fake being married again for the benefit of their adopted son’s extremely Catholic birth mother.
Robert DeNiro plays the father, with Susan Sarandon as his current partner (or “concubine“) and Diane Keaton as his ex-wife. The younger members of the cast include Ben Barnes and Amanda Seyfried as the happy couple, and Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl as the groom’s siblings. Robin Williams plays the part of an irreverent priest who is tasked with marrying the two.
The film was originally scheduled for theatrical release last fall, but for reasons unknown, Lionsgate made a last-minute decision to delay distribution for six months.
Now, it may simply be a bad trailer, but the laughs therein are somewhere between thin on the ground to nonexistent depending on how easily you’re tickled. There’s some falling-in-a-river slapstick and a running gag about DeNiro’s character being punched or slapped by the different women in his life, but overall, this feels like a mildly humorous drama being spun as much zanier than it really is.
If you have a high tolerance for fluffy romcoms, then this trailer might be enough to get you into theater next month. But for the average moviegoer, The Big Wedding looks to be one for the rental list.
That said, perhaps I’m just a little weary of trailers that “cordially invite” me to wedding-themed movies.
The Big Wedding is out in theaters on April 26th, 2013.