If you’re a Demme fan who fell for his work in Silence of the Lambs, you may not be such a fan of films like Rachel Getting Married.
Still, with lack of psychological tactics and bone-chilling violence, Demme’s work here is no less superb.
2008’s Rachel Getting Married is the story of drug-addict Kym, returning home temporarily for her sister’s wedding. The plot of the film isn’t anything exciting or overtly surprising, but simply consists of whether or not Kym can get through the weekend unscathed.
As the plot continues, we learn that Kym accidentally killed her little brother, and throughout her life has been dealing with the guilt of this event, as well as her continual drug addiction.
First off, I thought the characters were cast supremely well. Anne Hathaway (Kym) is an actress that I’ve always felt to be underrated, while Rosemarie DeWitt was excellent as Rachel. As a music snob, I also loved the fact that TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe was cast as Sidney.
Indeed, perhaps what kept this film afloat for me was it’s strong emphasis on music. Musicians Tamyra Gray and Robyn Hitchcock contributed music as wedding guests, while Adebimpe sung a solo version of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend.” While critics said that this type of wedding would never exist (meaning a white woman and black man getting married in a nice part of Connecticut,) I felt the scenes to be untraditional yet realistic. This is the type of wedding that you’d want to be a part of.
I also felt the story was interesting in terms of guilt. We see a family still torn apart by the death of a loved one, yet they somehow manage to forgive this loved one’s killer, because she is also a member of the family. This film is essentially a testament to forgiveness in itself, and whether each of the characters’ can rise above their resentment in order to forgive Kym for what she has done.
Perhaps the only aspect I could have asked for more of in this film was the development of Kym’s character. While the storyline focused strictly on the wedding event, I wanted to hear more about Kym’s past, and why she was who she was, other than a sometimes-bitchy drug addict who craved attention. It’s clear that Kym felt resentment from her family and perhaps felt a gap in her existence for her entire life, yet unfortunately Demme does not delve into her past. Maybe in a future film. (I also did not understand the R-rating except for a few select scenes, notably language.)
Nonetheless, it’s a film worth watching if you’re interested in straying from the typical Hollywood garbage you’re used to seeing.