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RACHEL GETTING MARRIED - Aka...Rachel Getting “Mallied”!!!! As Long Duc Dong said in 16 Candles.

By Visitor - Posted on 14 May 2009

Don’t we all wish we could banish our Token Crazy Relative to Crazy Island? At least for one day? Especially on our wedding day? Unfortunately Rachel Buchman (Rosemarie Dewitt) can’t do that to her sister Kym (Anne Hathaway), the narcissistic, whiny, doe-eyed turdball who is the (supposed) real protagonist of this film. Kym is a layer cake of issues, with the responsibility of her brother’s death serving as the frosting on her osteoporotic, slumped shoulders. I say we pump this chick with some Boniva, and fast. And in the mean time, honey, stay out of the striped pajamas.

This film, directed by Jonathan Demme, allows us to realize that no matter how dysfunctional your family is - Rachel Buchman’s family of whackos – wins!!

Fuhget about it, Tony Soprano.

How can a guy relate to this movie? This is a tough one. But, here goes in a Hee Haw- Dallas Cowboys-Sopranos analogy. So, your name is Buck Owens and you are just trying to bag this hot, little number from the cornfield. She is the one in the hat, Minnie Pearl. All of the sudden your brother, Terrell, shows up and starts talking about how the best man, Tony, isn’t paying attention to him. Bada Bing!! Somebody get me a Saturday Night Special and let’s end this thing. Cue the Journey song….

But, since this movie was obviously aimed at the fairer sex - Let’s start with a little background about the Buchman Bunch. “Background” meaning they appear to be white, Connecticut, elitist liberal whackjobs. Very White Rachel is marrying Very Black Sidney, a funky ex-military musician. Thus – the title of the movie - Guess Who’s Coming To Get Married?

But….the difference in race between Rachel and Sidney is never emphasized. Not a word. Not a glance askew. Nothing. No big deal.

Oh, yeah, that’s right - We are now in Post-Racial America. It’s the plethora of bohemian artist and musician friends who’ve crashed at the Buchman home for the wedding that make the audience member go ummmyeahright.

But these kids from Fame serve well as a backdrop of familial love and understanding against the Buchman family unit, who are torn and twisted by Kym’s appearance and the ensuing drama it causes.

Kym, enjoying a temporary furlough from rehab for the wedding, unwittingly meets Sidney’s Best Man, Kieran, a recovering addict himself, at an AA meeting in town the day of her arrival. After screwing him like a $2 Tijuana Whore, he lets it slip that Rachel’s best friend Emma is the Maid of Honor. In a plot twist torn from the pages of All My Children - Kym feels slighted and confronts Rachel in front of Emma. Need a scorecard to chart this meandering estrogen-fest? Me too!!

It was at this point in the film that I really, really wanted to mow Kym down - with the Pity Party Short Bus that she is certainly driving while intoxicated, self-absorbed, and oh, so Oscar worthy - just after thumping Rachel on the forehead for her emotional cowardliness.

If that isn’t enough, Kym – yes, once again – bares her soul at the local AA meeting, recounting the story about being high and crashing her car, killing her little brother who was inside.

But her “toast” to the happy couple during the rehearsal dinner was so self-absorbed, cringe-worthy and uncomfortable that my interest in trying to understand her character’s pain dissolved like two antacids in my hangover cure. If my sister pulled this kind of shit on me I would personally reach down her dress, pull out her menstruating cavity plug and shove it down her self-absorbed pie hole.

So many questions - Do real people really pull that kind of shit? Why did her family members just let it go? Why didn’t one of the Fame Kids take her out? Ba Da Bing!!

Deborah Winger plays Rachel and Kym’s mother with an icy, irritable grace. She obviously checked out of her marriage and parenting responsibilities shortly after the death of the son. The scene where she and her husband leave the rehearsal dinner early is quite painful to watch. The look of heartbreak on Rachel’s face made me think about calling my own crazy Mom to say, “I love you”. I forgot to do it while I was in line buying my second tub of popcorn, but the thought did enter my mind. That is what counts, right?

But I digress. A family confrontation takes place with Rachel telling Kym that she basically wants her to die the death of a ragdoll for causing so much grief in the family. Kym flees the scene, ending up at Mom’s house. She confronts her mother about why she allowed her to take care of her little brother knowing that Kym was already a drug addict and was high the day she drove the car with him into a river.

This was actually my favorite scene. Mom tells her, “You were your best - when you were with him!”. Kym tells her, “but I was high!” (Or something like that… I can’t remember because firstly, I popped an Oxycontin shortly prior to this scene and I can’t sit through this film again to get the dialog right). They both end up slapping each other across the face in a catfight and Kym flees again. That was awesome – the scene, the popcorn and MY high.

She stops by a convenience store for what we assume is some emotionally alleviating liquids and ends up ramming the family Mercedes into an innocent, helpless tree. So now that’s another death on her record – because we know RNA/DNA – death is all the same. She survives the crash and passes out in the front seat of the car until the police come and retrieve her ridiculously dramatic ass - in the morning.

Kym shows up before the wedding somewhat contrite and quiet. No one in the family asks her where she’s been or what has happened to the family car, or why she has a black eye. Why not, they are oblivious to the black guy and the black eye - truly color-blind liberals.

Rachel goes into motherhood mode, as we can assume she’s done many times before with Kym, and bathes her. It’s a touching scene between two sisters who know that they will always be each other’s enabler. Kym wears the sari that she has been bitching about wearing for this interterminable melodramatic waste of fine, upstanding Screen Actors Guild time, money and union employees- and allows her sister to finally be the focus of attention for this one day, her wedding day.

The Fame kids and other wedding guests have a marvelous time, the Buchman family comes together for these few fleeting hours, and the movie ends with Kym going back to rehab and me wondering why I didn’t just take the last 113 minutes of my life picking the cheese out of my toes instead of watching this “Academy Award” caliber performance by Anne Hathaway.

The use of a hand held camera gives Rachel Getting Married the intimacy and realism this kind of emotionally drenched film needs, but it got really old, really fast. Bill Irwin as Dad and Rosemarie DeWitt as Rachel give excellent performances that were over looked by the media when this Anne Hathaway Indie Oscar vehicle came out. Kym’s character is so unappealing. Is she just looking for someone to forgive, love and validate her? I didn’t care. I just wanted to shake her and scream “grow up and get a job!”

I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry

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