If you didn't know better, you might think The Big Wedding — opening in theaters today — has all the ingredients of a good movie. Get a load of that award-winning cast: Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton!
And yes, Robin Williams. And Topher Grace. And the luminous Amanda Seyfried. Ben Barnes and Christine Ebersole? Fine. But that's a lot of people. Wait, Katherine Heigl — no stranger to bombs? Okay. Sure.
And yet. That weird cheesefest of a poster, the disjointed trailer? They are warning signs. The movie is a wretched stinkbomb. Perhaps director Justin Zackham talked the bona fide stars into participating because the flick is actually a remake of a French film, Mon Frère Se Marie. Maybe they lost a bet. Who knows. What is clear is that the movie scored a measly 4% on the Rotten Tomatoes meter and critics are suggesting audiences avoid the nuptial-oriented turd like it's a pack of brides at a 50% off gown sale.
A sampling of reviews, below.
Chris Bumbray for JoBlo:
This is like a bad eighties-sitcom, with the characters acting in a way that suggests the film was written by aliens who’ve only ever heard humans speak though watching DVDs they found in a trash bin outside a suburban Wal-Mart.
I really hated The Big Wedding, but I’ll give it this: it’s better than Scary Movie 5. There — I found something to praise, even in a terrible, terrible “film” like this. Never say I don’t try to look on the bright side of things.
Bilge Ebiri for Vulture:
For all its surface amiability, The Big Wedding might be one of the more frustrating films of the year. […] “wasted opportunity” would be a good way to describe the entirety of this tepid, inoffensive trifle.
Lou Leminick of The New York Post:
How many Oscar winners does it take to totally screw up a comedy? The brutally unfunny, cringe-worthy “The Big Wedding’’ provides ample opportunities for Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams to embarrass themselves.
“I’d rather gouge my eyes out with hot spoons!’’ De Niro exclaims at one point. I’m not sure exactly what he was talking about, but I’d like to think it referred to the prospect of being forced to watch “The Big Wedding.’’
Stephen Holden of The New York Times:
To say that Justin Zackham’s farce “The Big Wedding” takes the low road doesn’t begin to do justice to the sheer awfulness of this star-stuffed, potty-mouthed fiasco directed by the screenwriter of “The Bucket List.”
The tone of the movie is set early, when Ellie arrives just in time to find a Viagra-wired Don about to give oral sex to Bebe, spread-eagle on a kitchen table.
Stephenie Merry of The Washington Post:
Superior talent can propel a movie only so far. Bad scripts beget bad movies, even when four Academy Award winners are involved […] Even the susceptible softies, who always cry at weddings, will probably leave the theater dry-eyed, not to mention feeling a little empty inside.
Keith Phipps for NPR:
The quiet moments feel just as contrived as the manic flailing that repeatedly sends characters tumbling into swimming pools and other bodies of water… It's all a bit exhausting, made all the more so by preordained romantic pairings and other broadly telegraphed turns in the plot.
[…]Zackham's film feels as plastic as a cake topper — and just as hard to digest.
Mr Moviefone says:
Here's the thing, if you go in expecting nothing, I guess you can't be disappointed, and with that, it delivers. "The Big Wedding" is a big waste of money and a big waste of time. I'm out!
Bill Wine, KYW Newsradio 1060:
By the authority vested in me, I now pronounce The Big Wedding a bomb. You may now hiss the bride. And the groom. And the guests. And the director.
Hard pass, guys. Let's think of De Niro like this instead.