You know those really awkward films, often centred around a wedding, where someone messes up the whole thing and families are sundered and then reunited with lots of laughs all round? Yeah, well, Rachel Getting Married is basically just that, but minus, uh, the laughs. The plot is this: Kym (right, Anne Hathaway), a drug addict who has not taken any drugs for nine months, leaves rehab for a few days to attend her sister’s wedding and then almost ruins everything, but really they all still love her, even the hilarious comedy poodle*. You’re going to love this one, I can feel it.
Is it a feminist film? Don’t confuse me too much here! This is the kind of film which, while it has plenty of great female characters with real personality who don’t let anyone else control their lives, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint it directly as a film made specifically with feminism in mind. This I must say, though: what really stuck out for me was that although the film centred around Rachel marrying some guy who sang a REALLY AWFUL song at their wedding (and she loved it! Pick up your romance tips here, people!), at the heart of it Rachel Getting Married is about the complex relationship Kym and Rachel have. Yes, it’s slightly depressing, yes, it’s literally two hours long and will have you constantly thinking “It must be over now, right? Let’s see how far we have to go, about twenty minutes, right? Lovely. Just pause it while I go and make a nice cup of tea- what? What are you saying, it’s still got an hour to go?” But in the end I think this one is definitely worth a watch, as long as you have a sufficient amount of life left to be bothered to watch it. On feminism: also see “Bechdel test, the”.
Is it disturbing? Kym has a serious drug problem and relates how her little brother died. A character crashes a car into a wood (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you who- it’s obviously the poodle, right?) There is also some singing so cringy that you may cry out in terrible pain “Oh [insert name of deity you believe in here, or if you are not religious then you can use ‘Sydney’, that’s the name of Mr I-think-I-can-sing], relieve my suffering! PLEASE!”
And… does it pass the Bechdel test? Yes, really well, although by three minutes in- literally- it has already passed; I think that HAS to be some sort of record.
*Its name is Olive, in case you were wondering. Which you probably weren’t.