Look at the poster for the new romantic comedy The Big Wedding: As with most posters, the ensemble cast looks Photoshopped together. But not just because of the odd positioning or how not all of them are actually looking at one another. If you look closer, you’ll see that it’s more as if each of the actors’ different characters from past wedding movies have been cut-and-pasted into what amounts to New Year’s Eve in a church.
That feeling only intensifies when you watch the trailer. Here’s the quick lowdown: Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro divorced when he left her for Susan Sarandon. In the intervening time, their daughter Katherine Heigl took Mom’s side, while their adoptive son Ben Barnes sided with Dad. Now that Barnes is getting married to Amanda Seyfried, he finds out that his biological mother has spontaneously decided to leave Colombia and be there for her son’s big day. The problem is, she’s really conservative and will never accept that her son was raised by divorced heathens. So, Keaton and De Niro need to pretend to be married just for the weekend of the wedding. But of course all matter of shenanigans occur!
As you watch the trailer, you’ll note that each of the characters is instantly recognizable, because we’ve seen them before:
- Keaton: The spinstery old woman who will totally find love again, probably in the form of a cringeworthy and graphic sex scene (Because I Said So)
- Heigl: Bitter older sister who’s always misunderstood/ignored by the rest of the family (27 Dresses)
- Seyfried: Blushing bride around whom the family shenanigans revolve (Mamma Mia!)
- Robin Williams: Smart-talking but still very family-oriented priest who will force you to go through impossible hurdles to be pure in the eyes of the Lord (License to Wed)
And Sarandon’s disguises and other antics bring to mind another marriage-obsessed redhead, Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding. These characters all hail from wedding movies, some more formulaic than others. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It provides an easy shorthand to know who’s who in this massive, unconventional modern family, and allows you to get at the heart of the matter more quickly. Of course, “the heart of the matter” is Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro doing it on the kitchen table, most likely. Still, it looks like a fun movie that I’d drag my girlfriends to.
The Big Wedding comes out October 26th.