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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Year's to Remember
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...
Published on June 23, 2011 by Alex

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Made from 100% pure boredom
(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...
Published on March 17, 2011 by Chris Swanson


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Made from 100% pure boredom, March 17, 2011
This review is from: Helena From the Wedding (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.

This is the kind of film I would have expected to see back in the 1980's. You know, one of those The Big Chill kind of films. It might have been daring and original then, but now it's just boring and flat. This movie is really just not worth bothering with.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Spend a Penny on this DVD, December 23, 2010
By 
This review is from: Helena From the Wedding (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 90 minutes I'll never get back, March 18, 2012
This review is from: Helena From the Wedding (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prentious, Boring and Pointless, January 3, 2014
This review is from: Helena From the Wedding (DVD)
Spoiler alert. ( I'll tell you the whole plot to spare you from having to sit through this).

The title is catchy but Helena is only a minor player in this film. The best part, and I'm trying to find something good to say about it to justify the two hours I spent on it, is the scenery--a very nice cabin in the snowy woods over New Years. As another reviewer commented, this is reminiscent of The Bill Chill, but it's a very sad attempt.

Here we have a group of middle class, college educated White folks, in their 30's, all well-heeled, well dressed and living totally pointless lives. One, who looks like Frazier, is a playwright on the verge of failure. His new wife is a very pale, insecure, woman with a baby voice who worries when he looks at Helena, a snazzy unattached model. There are a few others, none of whom seems to have a good handle on life. They all drink a lot, some smoke cigarettes and pot and do coke. And gossip about the romantic lives of the others. They lose the piece of a backgammon set and take the house apart to find it. I guess that's supposed to be symbolic of them losing themselves and searching to find it ??? It ends with fireworks streaming in the sky as everyone cozies up on the front porch. The playwright knows he doesn't have a chance with Helena so he goes back to his pale wife.

Don't waste your time. I'm giving it two stars only for the scenery.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Year's to Remember, June 23, 2011
By 
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, if a bit too low key..Well-Acted..Cold, intriguing setting.., December 14, 2013
By 
TwilightMountainTrader (Twin Peaks, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Helena From the Wedding (DVD)
The setting of this drama is a winter cabin, which appears to be comforting and warm in the midst of the snowy climes. If you enjoyed the movie THE BIG CHILL, this movie might appeal to you. It is very low key (some people found it boring), but the acting is so realistic and understated, I felt as though I were watching an actual group of friends on vacation. The ending, with its fireworks over the snow, is kind of hopeful and Kafka-like in its lack of resolution. If you like wild, sexy, edgy dramas, this is definitely not for you! I personally enjoyed it, and found it soothing and somewhat fascinating to watch. A subplot I appreciated it was the "failed writer" whose play only ran for two weeks. He appears somewhat lost in the midst of life, and I found myself wondering if he might truly go off the dead end and start shooting everything up (there are mounted rifles. in the cabin). Alas, the only actual fireworks comes at the end, but all in all I found it interesting to watch.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-crafted, low-key & ironic drama set in snowy upstate NY, January 27, 2011
This review is from: Helena From the Wedding (DVD)
A newly married couple hosts New Year's Eve party in their upstate New York country house, with two more married couples, a single 'getting separated' friend and a young Helena.

Over the course of their short holiday the marriages, relationships, career aspirations and 'turning 40' fears are laid bare to the surface by the careful and witty direction and delicate performances from all the cast.

As the characters reveal their tensions and anxiety, they also get into some hilarious conversations and mis-en-scenes that will make you giggle.

Few hours put to a test their relationships, particularly the one seemingly most perfect of the host couple, Alex (Lee Tergesen) and Alice (Melanie Lynskey), and expose everyone's weaknesses in a tender and humorous way.

This is a great bittersweet portrait of human vulnerability and relationships, delivered with Robert Altman-esque honesty and irony.
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Helena From the Wedding
Helena From the Wedding by Joseph Infantolino (DVD - 2011)
$24.95 $15.96
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