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Friday, October 31, 2008

Rachel Getting Married- Anne Hathaway Gets Dramatic!!

If you want to see a movie that is gripping and one that shows the love of a family, Rachel Getting Married may be the ticket you want to buy. This movie, starring Anne Hathaway, Bill Irwin, and Debra Winger ( I didn't realize it was her until late in the movie!) deals with a young woman, Kym(Hathaway) who has come home for the weekend from a rehab clinic, to attend the wedding of her sister Rachel. While many may think that this has to be a happy occasion with it being a wedding and Kym coming home, very soon they start to see and feel tensions. Anne Hathaway's emotional performance, Bill Irwin's quiet intensity, and Debra Wingers chilly performance as a mother who has basically ignored her daughters during their highest achievments, make this movie what it is.

Anne Hathaway really had me on edge watching this film. As Kym, she's a tiny, loaded cannon
just waiting to explode. Kym has come full circle as a recovered drug addict. She attends her rehab meetings, follows the steps necessary for treatment, and is trying to do better for herself. However, despite all of these things, Kym has a hard shell. She has been alone and away from her family during her stint in rehab. When Kym comes home, this is where the tension begins. She has to deal with her over protective father (played wonderfully by Bill Irwin) and also deal with the attention her older sister Rachel ( played by Rosemarie DeWitt) is getting due to her upcoming wedding. It is a an astronomical amount of attention that Rachel gets. Kym struggles to let her voice be heard, and at times she even has to interrupt conversations to get a word
in. Alas, the loaded cannon of Kym goes off. Hathaway justs lets loose her performance as Kym.
She is outspoken,unapologetic, and is comfortable in her own skin. When I saw Hathaway in this
performance, I forget for a moment that this was the same girl from the movie, The Princess Diaries!! Hathaway's model looks still hold in this movie as in her other movies, but she tries to take her acting to another level.

Bill Irwin, as the over protective but loving dad, Paul, does a good job in this film. Irwin gives his performance a quiet, yet dominant trait. He shows his love for his daughter Kym, offering her her favorite sandwich when she gets home, making sure she eats, and always checking to know where she is when she goes out of the house. I saw elements of my own dad in Irwin's character. As the character Paul, he also tries to hold everything together when his family seems to be
going crazy. Being that it is his daughters wedding, their is alot of action and planning to be done, emotions run thick, and of course Kym is home so thats double for Paul to worry about. Irwin's acting is wondeful; he doesn't try to overdo his role or underplay it. He simply shows a dad who loves his family and his two daughters.

Debra Winger ( remember her from the film "Legal Eagles"??) made me really not like her character in this film. This was a good thing though. Winger's character, Abby was supposed to be this way. Winger plays the estranged mom to Kym and Rachel. She has been out of her girls' lives, missed important moments, and basically remarried and moved on without them. When Abby comes back for Rachel's wedding, you feel as if she is a guest rather than the girls mom. Winger plays Abby really well. I felt the chill between her and her daughters, and felt that this woman has lived a totally different life from her daughters by her persona and character.

Overall, Rachel Getting Married is a nice film. I have to mention the excellent performance by Rosemarie DeWitt as Rachel. She played to the fullest this older sister who is showered with so much attention, that at first you might think of her character as really selfish and self centered. It seems like Rachel wants things to be run her way, and her voice is the only one that matters. But, as the movie progresses, you see that Rachel in her own way is trying to deal with Kym coming home, accepting her back into her life. Also, once Rachel sees how hard it is for Kym to adjust back to family life, she opens up to her and becomes the big, loving sister that she should be. A beautiful scene that shows this is when Kym comes home after attempting to kill herself. Kym gets to feeling so hurt from her mother and the past ( Kym accidently killed her younger brother), she tries to end her life. Thankfully, Kym doesn't succeed in this attempt, and goes back home. When Rachel sees her sister return home ( which happens to be on Rachel's wedding day, moments before she is to walk down the aisle), Rachel helps Kym get herself together, just showing love that is truly touching.

Rachel Getting Married... a good film!! If you have not seen it, go see it. It will make you feel the power of family and of redemption.