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Mildly amusing and interesting
on November 9, 2014
There is virtually no nudity in this film. Nor is there violence, so I have to assume the “R” rating is purely based on periodically explicit language and implied sexual situations, particularly coming from Robert de Niro.
De Niro plays a seemingly endlessly self-centered, successful businessman and skirt chaser. The setting for the movie is the wedding of his adopted son Arturo, from South America, with the daughter of another well-to-do but superficial set of parents. Complications abound as De Niro’s first wife [played by Diane Keaton] shows up for the wedding. We soon learn that De Niro cheated on her with her best friend [played by Susan Sarandon], with whom he’s been living ever since. Then the biological kids of De Niro and Keaton arrive, and they all have their own personal axes to grind: with each other as well as with their parents. Just to top it off, Arturo’s real mother shows up from South America. Since she’s a strict Catholic and Arturo had led her to believe that De Niro and Keaton had never been divorced, he persuades the two of them to pretend they are still married, so as not to shock and disappoint his mother. Sarandon, not surprisingly miffed at the situation, drives off to stay at a hotel until the wedding is over, but keeps showing up as head-caterer, deliberately to annoy both De Niro and Keaton.
The movie isn’t as funny as it could have been, and it is more serious than expected. De Niro ends up a more human character than he appears at first, Keaton and Sarandon have some interesting conversations, the lawyer-daughter who just broke up with her boyfriend in Chicago finds out she’s pregnant by him—in short, imagine the Sarah Palin family set in Hollywood, and this is perhaps what you might get. Oh it has added sentimental value as Robin Williams plays the Catholic priest for the wedding ceremony. I can’t think of a more believable character to play a Catholic priest….Reasonably amusing and interesting if you keep your expectations low.