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Helena From the Wedding

2.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Mar 08, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Newlyweds Alex (Lee Tergesen) and Alice (Melanie Lynskey) are hosting a New Year's Eve party for their closest friends at a remote cabin in the mountains. But when the other couples arrive in various states of discord, their hopes for a relaxing weekend are quickly thrown out the window. The tensions in the cabin are compounded when Alice's friends bring along a surprise guestthe very young and very beautiful Helena (Gillian Jacobs). As the New Year creeps closer and closer, Alex and Alice must keep the evening from spiraling out of controland their own marriage from coming unglued.

Review

An intimate film filled with terrific performances! --Jared Moshe, indieWIRE

Absorbing! Deftly written and acted. --Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader/Film Quarterly

Intensely genuine and emotionally vibrant! --Kevin Powers, Popscorn

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gillian Jacobs, Melanie Lynskey, Dominic Fumusa, Lee Tergesen
  • Directors: Joseph Infantolino
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003YVCAS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
(special thanks to Film Movement for providing me with a screener!)

According to many movies there's nothing worse than being upper-middle class, white and trapped in a loving marriage.That very situation was explored recently in Hall Pass, a decent, if forgettable, movie. It's also explored in an even more forgettable way in Helena From the Wedding, the latest offering from Film Movement.

The movie centers around one of those couples who live in that very special kind of hell where they're happy with their lives. Oh, how my heart bleeds for them. We follow them through a weekend at a "cabin" in the mountains (one of those sorts of "cabins" bought by the very wealthy that you know is rustic cause it's built from genuine Wood (tm)!). While there they have a few friends join them, including the titular Helena. Our main character has a crush on her, but doesn't bother to make more than a token effort at following through on it.

During the course of this weekend we learn that, shockingly, not all is happiness and roses for their friends. One of them is getting divorced. One of the other couples fights constantly. Everyone smokes weed and snorts coke and winges on about how horrible their lives are until you want to reach through the screen and smack all of them. None of this is even remotely interesting.

I'm not sure what the point of this movie is. The characters are dull, the setup is boring and the dialogue is flat. These people are whinny and insufferable and I wouldn't want to spend another minute, much less a whole weekend, with any of them. I have no idea what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish with this movie, but unless it was putting me into a sort of torpor, they failed.
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Format: DVD
This movie is bad: bad writing, bad acting, and especially, bad direction. It's a shame, because, with the exception of the lead actor(no charisma, no looks, no actor's instinct, no interest), I believe the other actors could have made a much better film if given a better script and/or a much better director. As I watched, I thought, these actors could have made a better movie if the director had given them broad story sketches and allowed them to improvise dialogue and action. What I saw was unnatural dialogue, action, and re-action. This movie stinks.
My experience with Film Movement is that their films are hit and miss. Many of them are wonderful, others, such as "Helena From The Wedding" are real stinkers. The idea of the movie is good, but the execution is a waste of talent and film. I would have given it 1.5 stars, so my two stars are generous.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Good actors, good acting, good filming. MAJOR flaw. Probably the most basic rule of writing is your story needs to be teased with a reason to find out what happens, especially at or very near the beginning.

This story had no where to go. There were a few minor, minor plots in it after it was going, but never of any consequence. This was a boring narrative told by good actors acting well to display very distinctive characters. But it was just as interesting at the end as it was at the beginning - it wasn't.

I usually see a low rating, read some reviews and think the reviewers didn't give enough credit where it was due. This had good actors, good acting and good filming. And the reviewers were right in their scoring.
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Format: DVD
This film is SLOW to say the least. The couples are disfunctional and complain to the newlyweds about the horrors of marriage. I kept watching hoping the plot would develop and it would get better but that never happened. The film makers missed every opportunity to make this a good flick...from the hunting scene, to the ride into town to get cigs (the only two scenes not shot in the cabin).
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Format: Amazon Video
This unbelievably real movie tells the story of a group of 30-something friends, mostly couples, who meet up in a cabin in upstate NY for New Year's. The three couples involved all have their own different types of nuanced dysfunctionality, while the lone single man had been recently separated and started going after younger women. These groups are all on the edge of falling apart and it takes the entrance of single and beautiful Helena to push everyone over the edge.

As they move to celebrate New Year's, they begin to party and drink and do some drugs and the action and tensions continue to escalate, sometimes exploding but mostly staying subtly under wraps. A few of the men (including the single man and one of the married men) are attracted to Helena and awkwardly attempt to come on to or just talk to her. The drama stays mostly within the walls of the cabin, making the movie all the more claustrophobic - making the tension build even quicker.

Helena from the Wedding is ultimately about upper middle class 30-something melodrama, but the film is so artfully handled that it transcends that tired and unsympathetic tale, opting instead to show a nuanced and incredibly realistic image of modern life. There were great performances from all of the cast, especially from Gillian Jacobs as Helena and Lee Tergesen as the married Alex attracted to her. I cannot stress how realistic Helena from the Wedding was, at times I felt like I was looking through the window of the cabin and watching the action unfold. Finally, although it is dramatic, the film retains comic moments and a not-too-dark feel. 5 stars, easily
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