Watching Rachel Getting Married is a lot like attending a wedding. There are plenty of really sweet and heartfelt moments, but there are also a few uncomfortable and just plain dull stretches wherein you just have to sit there and let your own barely faked attentiveness sort of wash over you.
Three really fine performances anchor the film. Anne Hathaway's Kym is the kind of part most young actresses would kill to get; she's on leave from rehab, racked with guilt, but also completely unwilling to allow the spotlight to shine on her sister Rachel. Hathaway should be commended for not drooling all over the part in a Method-inspired frenzy. Her performance meshes easily with Debra Winger's unrepentantly distant mother; the two seem seriously confused—and injured—by their own awful actions even as they commit them. But it's Rosemarie DeWitt's Rachel who holds everything together; she's a normal woman trying to enjoy her wedding day, even as two self-involved drama queens tear it apart.
Jonathan Demme, returning to feature filmmaking after a stint in documentaries, is apparently trying to evoke amateur wedding cinematography with Married. The camera bucks and wheels in circles; weak-stomached film- goers would be advised to take a double dose of Dramamine. The documentary-style approach is interesting in that it allows Demme to get all up in the actors' faces and catch subtle nuances, but it's occasionally frustrating. One dinner scene in particular could be a Cloverfield outtake, it's so jumpy and camera-eccentric. For the most part, the actors underplay their parts, but as with most big-name pedigree films released in the fall, Married has its serious Oscar-bait scenes. Without these screams and slaps, the film would be a stronger one, but then, what's a wedding without a little melodrama?