A wedding brings the family together for what should be a happy occasion. All too often, however, when the relatives gather, long simmering hostilities bubble to the surface, overshadowing the main event. When Kym (Anne Hathaway) goes home for her sister Rachel’s wedding, she anticipates a rough time. She’s not disappointed.
In Rachel Getting Married, Kym travels light, but the psychological baggage she brings along is heavy indeed. In and out of rehab for many years (she leaves rehab to attend the wedding) Kym is unable to reconcile an event from her past that led to the death of a family member. While her father empathizes with her, other family members are not so quick to forgive and forget.
Hathaway has been nominated for an Academy Award in the actress category. She deserves to be singled out. Audiences who have been accustomed to seeing her in lighter fare (The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada, Bride Wars), will recognize that she has barely begun to exercise her talents. This film, directed by Jonathan Demme, will set her on another path.
Debra Winger, who has been absent from the screen for far too long, turns in a nuanced performance as Kym’s and Rachel’s mother. Her character is pivotal to the events that have for so long reverberated through the family. Her presence on the screen is fleeting, yet the impressions she leaves long-lasting.