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"Can't Buy Me Love",
This review is from: After the Wedding (DVD)
`After the Wedding,' Denmark's "Best Foreign Picture" nominee for the Academy Awards has a lot going for it. Even if there is a soap opera feel to the scenes and the story, the quality is head and shoulders above any serial. Not to mention the fact we get six months of development in one movie. Solid performances, and camera shots that capture every revealing reaction give the story a magnetic interest.
The film begins in India where Jacob Pedersen (Mads Mikkelson) works with the impoverished. He feels at home with the children, but he goes back to Denmark to raise funds for the orphanage and get reacquainted with his family. At home his former love Helene (Sidse Babett Knudsen) has married a tycoon, Jorgen Hanson (Rolf Lassgard), someone Jacob is able to solicit funding with ease. Once they meet, he is invited to their daughter's wedding. Much like `Rumor Has It' with far less laughs, yet more substantive development, Jacob finds out at the reception that he has more at stake at home than he previously thought. From there he is reattached to deceptive Helene, and both must sort out the bitter resentment they feel for one another. (Did he have one affair as he says or was he the philanderer by her account?) Toasting her mother and step-father at the wedding, the bride Anna (Stine Fischer Christensen) later comes to grip with life-changing information in her own life.
Skillfully sorting out the relationships and priorities of the key players, `After the Wedding,' presents a bitter-sweet story with memorable characters and interesting circumstances. One of the merits of the film is how it defines poverty in India and compares it with a different kind of impoverishment for the wealthy. Jorgan's problems wouldn`t make us trade places with him for the world. Similarly, one of the boys at the orphanage reminds Jacob that he doesn't even like the wealthy. Another ironically says, "If I were rich, I'd be happy." Watching everyone come to grips with their lives and barter for stability make `After the Wedding` a revealing family portrait.