After the Wedding Review
Dan Skip Allen
After the Wedding follows a long line of family dramas that share similarities. Where long lost members of the family come together and (surprise,surprise) they have secrets. Been there. Done that.
Michelle Williams plays Isabel a woman who oversees a school in India. She goes to New York to meet with a potential donor who wants to give her money for her school because paying for a school isn’t cheap and donations go a long way to feed, house & vaccinate the students. Julianne Moore portrays Theresa a woman who is about to come into millions of dollars from selling her company. She is the potential donor. She invites Isabel to her daughter’s wedding over the weekend to finalize details of the deal. While at the wedding Isabel recognizes her old boyfriend Oscar played by Billy Crudup. Oscar and Theresa have a daughter named Grace portrayed by Abby Quinn. You might remember her from last year’s indie hit Landline. She is the one whose getting married. Everything seems fine until after the wedding.After the Wedding is a remake of the 2006 film of the same name.
These types of family dramas like to pull on your heartstrings. They drag you around in every direction, reaching for a reaction. After the Wedding definitely does that very well. The problem for me was that they overdid it. Bart Freundlich is a director I had never heard of before this film. He has some foreign films under his belt. Films I have never heard of. He and Susanna Bier collaborated on both versions of this film. She directed the foreign language version. They both helped write the screenplay for both versions. They obviously have a grasp of this material. They’ve been working with it for quite a while. Maybe they should have let someone else handle it. Someone less familiar with it. They overcooked what could have been a great story. I’ve watched a lot of great family dramas in my time and this one was just too much for me to handle.
When you have great actors like Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore you need to be more subtle with handling there performance. They both seemed like they were trying to outdo one another. They weren’t acting as much as they were trying to win Academy Awards. These are two of the best leading ladies we have in Hollywood right now. Billy Crudup and Abbey Quinn seemed like they were stuck between the power struggle between these two women. I know they have good performances in them. It just wasn’t in After the Wedding.
2 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen