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Hathaway shines in “Rachel Getting Married”

Adriana Pratt | Thursday, March 19, 2009

Warning: For those of you who consider yourselves faint of heart, stay away from “Rachel Getting Married.”

If you’re uncomfortable with the repercussions of a psychological journey that will not only take you through emotional highs and lows, but will also have you sympathizing with opposing characters while hating them for their emotional incomprehension, steer clear.

On the other hand, for those of you who want to see a kick-butt performance by Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway, or are drawn to a movie that feels so true and real you’ll forget you’re watching a film – and aren’t actually a member of the complicated but loveable Buchman family – then waste no time in renting this newly released film.

Home from rehab for the weekend, recovering addict and semi-psychotic Kym (Hathaway) travels back to her roots to witness the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) and fiancé Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe). Kym dives back into the eccentric and sometimes overwhelming atmosphere that family life inevitably brings.

Upon Kym’s return, the tension between the two sisters boils to the surface. Kym, paradoxically charming and painful, throws sarcastic, offensive and sometimes-funny comments Rachel’s way. She constantly forces the spotlight on her own miraculous return from exile, in spite of her sister’s role as the weekend’s blushing bride.

Rachel’s inner jealousy for the amount of attention paid to her prodigal sister mirrors common themes of sibling rivalry and sisterly drama.

As the weekend of the wedding progresses, a tragic reason for the family’s estranged state is revealed. The surprise revelation shows audiences how one momentous event can change the course of a life, or even end it.

A contemporary cinematic accomplishment, “Rachel Getting Married” dares to take an in-depth look at why and how families grow apart, finding eventual reconciliation and powerful reunion.

Director Jonathan Demme elicits stellar performances from his cast, and each member plays with the complex ties of family very well.

Through ups and downs, joyous moments and times of heartbreaking sadness, “Rachel Getting Married” presents life in its raw, inharmonious and beautiful existence.

The feeling of fullness this film gives is unmatched by much of what is currently in theaters. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to escape from the confining strictures of daily life – join Kym’s journey back into the world of freely bared emotions and realities in their most unprocessed forms.

The DVD of “Rachel Getting Married” was released on March 10. Among the special features, fans of the film can enjoy a director’s commentary with Demme, an additional commentary featuring DeWitt, several deleted scenes and a series of production featurettes.

Contact Adriana Pratt at apratt@nd.edu