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The Big Wedding review

Something old…

This star-laden stinker from The Bucket List scripter Justin Zackham begins with Diane Keaton walking in on Robert De Niro going down on Susan Sarandon. It’s all downhill from there in this irksome chronicle of premarital dysfunction, an adaptation of a 2006 Swiss original that seems to have caught a case of potty mouth on its trip across the Atlantic.

Formerly entwined but now amicably estranged, Keaton and De Niro are required to be a couple again when their adopted son (Ben Barnes) and his bride-to-be (Amanda Seyfried) invite his staunchly Catholic birth mother (Patricia Rae) to their upcoming nuptials.

Naturally the ruse does not amuse Sarandon as much as it does the groom’s older brother (Topher Grace), a male nurse and 29-year-old virgin who is saving his cherry for Miss Right.

Their sister (Katherine Heigl) has other problems, having just found out she’s got a bun in the oven. Oh, and it turns out the bride’s parents are flat broke. Are you laughing yet?

No doubt Zackham believed the combination of so many big names with the endlessly recyclable wedding-farce template would do the lifting for him.

What has apparently been overlooked is how fundamentally detestable his characters are, from De Niro’s randy sculptor all the way down to Robin Williams’ prim, judgemental priest.

Even Seyfried’s simpering, wide-eyed naïf forgoes sympathy, if only for wanting to get hitched to this ghastly brood in the first place.

Is it Barnes she has those big peepers on or his adoptive dad’s lakeside pile – an edifice that gets so much screen time you wonder if the film is sponsored by the Ideal Home Exhibition?

Sculptors apparently make a bundle, given the amount of scenes set in swanky restaurants, up-market shops and exclusive country clubs.

But then The Big Wedding isn’t telling a story so much as selling a lifestyle – one that, rather like Heigl’s morning sickness, makes you want to vomit.

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