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Customer Review

64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A painful 5 stars, May 11, 2009
This review is from: Rachel Getting Married (DVD)
Well, I should introduce myself as a recovering addict (we never really stop recovering do we?), and from that I base my entire review. There is a moment in this film when Hathaway wonders if the band of gypsies on the porch can stop playing for just five minutes; and I couldn't agree more. Funny thing is, I know why Demme put that violin there; from her first scene in the house, to the dish-loading keeps the tension up. You see, this whole film is from the freshly rehabed addict's point of view, and that's no fun place to be; as watching this film will show. I've been clean for 6 years now, and was shocked to find there were times I could hardly sit through the film. Demme does an amazing job of using every element at his disposal to push the envelope of the viewer's willingness to stick with this story; just as the main character is being pushed inexorably and unwillingly ahead. The celebration scene with the never-ending musical parade gets louder and amps up the energy way past when most filmmakers would cut the scene; that's absolutely true. But for me it was because we (the audience) are supposed to be in Hathaway's head; and the whole experience is just dancing on her raw nerves. This film reminded me more of PERMANENT MIDNIGHT, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, 28 DAYS or CLEAN AND SOBER than any other film with WEDDING in the title. But of those, only REQUIEM further explores every technique at the director's disposal to push the audience into the same shoes as the main characters. Every addict should see this one. Five stars for sure; a very painful five. (It is always a pleasure to watch Debra Winger do what she does in front of a camera.)
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 12, 2011 9:19:07 PM PDT
Couldn't agree more: Winger has always recieved
my attention and.........a hard film to stay with,
but one I, none-the-less, still do appreciate.

Posted on Jun 7, 2011 2:27:52 AM PDT
Okay, if you really like Big Gushing Wedding movies, and you're Upper Middle Class or Wealthy, then this is probably a great movie for you, filled with cross-culturalism, extreme drama, and love/hate family relationships that drive you insane. I think if you're mainstream, and female, and have addictions or are close to people with them, that will also help. Maybe it will be gloriously mind-opening for you.

I'm not an addict, and can't stand Big Gushing Wedding Movies, and live in screaming poverty far beyond anything any one of the wedding guests has experienced, so it was really painful watching this.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 12:58:34 PM PST
Sambson-I really liked your fresh look at this movie. I loved this film, the color, the conflict and especially how well people's judgement is so pronounced or anticipated beforehand. I think dealing with judgement is a horrible place to be in--as I have also been. Thank you for reviewing this movie, seeing it through your eyes gives a better understanding of addiction, if I may be so bold. The movies that you wrote of in your review are all great films, as I have seen all of them. "Requiem For A Dream" was harder than any other movie I have ever watched to stay sitting through, painful for sure, as is this. Yes, Debra Winger was uncomfortably wonderful in this, Demme had to have been 'over the top' to have her in his picture. Sheryl

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2012 9:00:05 PM PDT
Sambson says:
wow. thank you for your insight Sheryl.

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 9:54:31 PM PDT
Sambson--Hey, you're welcome. I wrote up a review for this, and Amazon lost my positives, which were few anyway. The reason I am writing this is simply because I am really surprised so many people did not like this movie, actually seemed to despise it: Like one of the comments in your list here. I see this movie as such a brave work by all involved, and Hathaway put out her best acting to date in my opinion. I really wonder why this movie hit so many people in a negative way while I found it profoundly moving on several levels, hmmmm? Sheryl

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 10:57:56 PM PST
Susan Barney says:
Thank you very much for your write-up. It prepared me for the movie, especially the part about how the movie is from the freshly-recovering addicts point of view, so it was easier to excuse the scenes that went on too long. It was a well done movie, and Anne's acting was superb, but it was difficult to watch at times.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2013 10:40:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 24, 2013 10:41:04 AM PDT
RBSProds says:
Great review. Thank you for your personal admission and your valued viewpoint on this movie and similar ones. It is appreciated. It convinced me to see this movie.
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Location: North Carolina

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