Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gets You In Gut (In A Good Way)

'Rachel Getting Married' is one for the ages - an incisive, cathartic tale of Kym, a troubled, semi-damaged soul sprung out of rehab for her sister Rachel's wedding, which brings long-buried angst to the surface.

Kym is indelibly incarnated by Anne Hathaway (pictured far left), whose depth and talent have clearly been heretofore under-utilized. Rosemary DeWitt (pictured near left) is formidable as Rachel, who refuses to allow Kym's neediness center stage at her moment. The background is a boisterous, multicultural music-fest of a wedding weekend, courtesy of the musician groom, his band members, and his family.

The back story, revealed gradually in mid-film, packs quite a wallop, and makes us evolve in how we view the characters and they ways they've coped with tragedy and its painful, messy wreckage. The movie is unflinching and refuses a tidy, happy ending, but it's not a downer, all in all. Partly because it's cathartic, partly because of the felicitous pairing of the bride and groom and everyone's sincere joy in their union. The entire cast is superb, including Debra Winger as the estranged mother of Rachel and Kym.

That the groom is African-American is, appropriately, a non-issue - he's a real singer, by the way, Tunde Adimbempe of the wonderful TV On The Radio, who provided our exciting Song Of The Week back on September 29 - click here to enjoy their joyous music on my page. Who knew he could act? And the guest musicians - Sister Rose, Robyn Hitchcock - only Jonathan Demme could direct a movie with this soundtrack that draws equally on Bergman, 'The Celebration', and 'Stop Making Sense...'

Watch the trailer! Then see the movie... It's Friday, ferchrissake...

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