04/30/2013 03:54 pm ET | Updated Jun 30, 2013

Why "The Big Wedding" Crashed and Burned

Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
"The Big Wedding" (Lionsgate)

When you have Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams in a movie you have the reasonable expectation that it will be watchable and somewhat entertaining. So what went wrong with "The Big Wedding" in which these people are cast? This movie is a film with only glimmers of talent and that is certainly not enough to warrant it being made or being seen.

First up is the premise. Ellie (Keaton) and Don (De Niro) are divorced and he is now happily involved with Bebe (Sarandon). Ellie comes to her old house where Don and Bebe are now living. The reason for her visit is the upcoming marriage of her and Don's adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes) to Missy (Amanda Seyfried). Their other two children, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace), are also going to be there.

The main problem arises when Alejandro remembers his birth mother, Madonna (Patricia Rae), with whom he has stayed in touch and who is coming to the wedding, is also very religious. He has never told her Ellie and Don are divorced and Madonna doesn't believe in divorce. This means Ellie and Don have to pretend to still be married and Bebe is now odd woman out.

This all sounds like some British farce of a hundred years ago. It is a creaky plot on which to hang a story and a script, especially when you add in the recovering alcoholic priest (Williams) and the virgin elder son (Grace). But even all this might have been somewhat salvageable if there had been some humor permeating the script or better yet a semblance of taste.

The whole intention of the film appears to be proving (1) senior citizens have sex (2) senior citizens can say just as many dirty words as the younger crowd (3) the careers of Robin Williams and Katherine Heigl are now officially over; and (4) De Niro continues to embarrass himself with these "comedy" ventures. Watching these screen veterans swear, mug and continually act clueless about everything is just painful to watch. No one escapes from this flop with their dignity intact.

The film is rated R for profanity, comic violence, sexual situations and nudity.

Surely someone looked at this piece of boring inanities and knew how much it stunk. But if they did they also decided to go ahead and foist it on an unsuspecting public who should now avoid it at all costs. This is not "Something's Gotta Give, Part 2." It is more "Movie 43, Part 2."

Still there are some glimmers. De Niro has a scene or two where he actually sounds sincere and creates a character. Also Keaton and Sarandon both look good. But that's it. There is nothing else hopeful in this movie and certainly nothing major worth watching.

I scored "The Big Wedding" a crashed 4 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper

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