Thursday, July 30, 2009

Margot at the Wedding. F

It's not that this movie is terribly made or terribly acted or directed. It's simply how much I disliked it. It's advertised as being truthful and honest about the nature of family relationships. Really? Well maybe it's honest about this particular family, but this family is not most families. Normally I might laugh about a dysfunctional family, like 'The Savages.' But this family is too horrible to laugh at. Another problem is that the strong cast is terribly miscast. Nicole Kidman plays Margot, who seems to be crazed in the head. She and her son Claude (Zane Pais) travel to visit her estranged sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is getting married to Malcolm, played by Jack Black. We, and Margot, wonder why Pauline would want to marry a guy like Malcolm, who is jobless and irresponsible. What follows is a tedious hour and a half of yelling, screaming, bickering, fighting, crying, swearing, all of which is totally unbearable. The writer/director is Noah Baumbach, who gained acclaim for his 2005 similar-themed film, 'The Squid and the Whale.' To me, this was sort of like 'Synechdoche, New York,' only without the ludicrous plot. Another major problem is the character Claude, and the performance given by the inept Zane Pais. He is one of the central characters in the film, but all he seems to do is sit there and watch his mom explode, and when he has some key lines to deliver, he fails. He never really does anything. Jack Black, who is a great comedic actor, is dreadful as Malcolm, while Kidman is simply miscast. Leigh is the only one who might be right for the film. There are also some lines in the movie that may be characteristic of these people, but completely unnecessary. I just found 'Margot at the Wedding' to be a dreadful study of families. The wedding never actually happens, which is ironic, because I was just about to say that this is one wedding you do not want to attend.

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