Main Feature (1H 52M 43S)
Screenwriter Jenny Lumet does a good job in getting down to basics and providing a believable tale of the classic middle-American dysfunctional family. Natural dialogue is much rarer than it should be and that aspect of this script impressed me far more than the story itself in which nothing much actually happens.
Director Jonathan Demme, most famous for Silence of the Lambs, in a departure from his usual techniques made the interesting choice to film this in a fly-on-the-wall documentary style which works wonders for Lumet’s script. It is difficult to sum up Demme’s importance to this film but the cast are so relaxed while performing in such a wild atmosphere and that is testament to his man-management abilities.
Anne Hathaway is outstanding as the lead character Kym and this comes as a surprise to me as I had her pinned as little more than another run-of-the-mill actress. My dismissive attitude was purely based on her previous career choices which haven’t really given her an opportunity to show what she’s capable of. I also couldn’t help but notice is that while I previously found Hathaway very pretty I now see that she shares a special kind of beauty with Winona Ryder. Rosemarie DeWitt also puts in a great performance as the title character Rachel and both she and Hathaway are very believable as bickering sisters. The rest of the cast do a great job, appearing natural on screen, which is especially impressive considering that many are musicians and not trained actors.
There is an eclectic mix of music on offer which helps in creating a very individual wedding on screen. The use of live music while the actors are performing their roles is an interesting approach which could so easily have fallen to pieces but it works really well here. With film history filled with so many dull weddings this one may leave you wishing you could attend yourself.
Commentary 1 (1H 52M 43S) — Producer Neda Armian, Screenwriter Jenny Lumet, and Editor Tim Squyres talk about the film.
Commentary 2 (1H 52M 43S) — Actress Rosemarie DeWitt talks about the film.
The Wedding Band (7M 47S) — Director Jonathan Demme and musicians talk about an interesting choice to have live music being played on screen while the actors are doing their thing.
A Look Behind The Scenes Of Rachel Getting Married (15M 48S) — The cast and crew talk about the natural process of coming together and forming a solid team who bounced off each other creatively.
Cast and Crew Q&A at Jacob Burns Center, Pleasantville New York (49M 20S) — This is a substantial Q&A session with nine members of cast and crew. It’s a shame that Hathaway and DeWitt couldn’t attend but Demme is very much a driving force on his own.
Deleted Scenes (18M 52S) — This is the usual selection of scenes which weren’t deemed good enough or didn’t fit in with the rest of the film. There is one scene I really like with Kieran talking to Kym after she throws a tantrum during a game of foosball.
Theatrical Trailer (2M 25S) — Does exactly what it says on the tin.
This is a surprisingly good film and Hathaway, who puts in a great performance and runs away with the show, is someone I really look forward to seeing more of in future. If Hathaway can put together a string of films with this type of edgy role I can see her going places very quickly. The extras are decent and it’s nice to see a couple of commentaries on there. You are sure to enjoy this if you like Girl Interrupted, documentary style films, and cynical observations of the Middle American family unit.