“I love weddings — they’re such a family thing.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Bedelia is lovely as the bride-to-be who knows exactly how to handle her nervous groom; we sense that this couple will stick it out, and their interactions serve as an effectively grounded counterpoint to the rest of the movie. The most blatantly comedic storyline follows a horny friend-of-the-groom (Bob Dishy) determined to “score” with the bride’s ditzy cousin (Hailey); their cat-and-mouse courtship offers some giggle-worthy surprises. Bea Arthur and Richard Castellano are note-perfect as the devout Catholic parents of Brandon and Joseph Hindy; their deep distress and bafflement at the dissolution of Hindy’s marriage to Diane Keaton is sensitively handled. Much less humorous (and not given enough screentime) is the depiction of an ongoing affair between the father of the bride (Gig Young) and a family friend (Anne Jackson); this scenario ultimately comes across as simply tragic in its inevitability. The most dated subplot — though it still packs a disturbing punch in its own way — shows Anne Meara’s happily married but sexually neglected housewife attempting to assuage her insecure husband (Harry Guardino).
Note: Taylor and Bologna’s follow-up film was the 1971 sleeper Made For Each Other, which deals in an even more brutally incisive fashion with relationship issues; they would make an interesting, emotionally loaded double-bill.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: