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Helena From the Wedding

2.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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
    Not Rated
  • 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 (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003YVCAS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,366 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on March 17, 2011
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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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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Not bad but not good either. Not boring but not exciting. A really middle of the road movie. A good choice if there's nothing else on or you're looking to fall asleep to something. It's less of a story in the traditional 'beginning, middle, end' sense than it is a brief snapshot into some lives. I suppose it's by intent, but the whole movie is more of a 'middle' leaving the beginning and end to the imagination of the viewers.

I don't mean this to sound all bad. As I said in the first sentence: It's not bad. It is precisely 3 out of 5 stars.
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A group of teens in a snowy cabin for New Year's. They speak in guttural tones and incomplete sentences; they're tens in their forties. The general mood is depressed. It's middle age panic time, actually, and they're lawyers and writers, but not very good at either. Then the Queen of the Hop arrives, and two or three of the guys think she's maybe what he needs. She's a lustrous model. Alex has had a play fold after two weeks, thinks he might go back to law, but a corporate type says he's forty and Pepperdine and they're looking for younger and double Harvard. Then the wife of Alex the flounder catches him ogling Helena the Beauty. Everybody wants something else. Nobody is satisfied. Nobody says anything. They shoot off some fireworks. Then they stop filming.
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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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From the description about this video it sounded of interest to me,. But then it meandered on and on about the characters' problems without there ever being solutions. Not my kind of movie and I was dumb enough to watch it to the end.
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Format: 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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