A fantastic cast doesn’t raise The People We Hate at the Wedding to the level of a great film. Based on Grant Ginder’s 2016 novel of the same name, the film sees a dysfunctional, blended family come together at a wedding with the expected drama, tears, laughter and final understanding.
The People we Hate at the Wedding
Director: Claire Scanlon
Cast: Allison Janney, Ben Platt, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Kristen Bell
Runtime: 99 minutes
Storyline: A wedding seems the right place to bring a dysfunctional family together… or maybe not
Once upon a time, says the narrator (Adam Godley), there was a girl named Donna (Allison Janney) who married the suave, insanely wealthy Henrique (Isaach de Bankolé). They had a daughter, Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). When Donna caught Henrique sleeping with the nanny, she left London and returned to the States. She then married Bill (Andy Daly) and had two children, Alice (Kristen Bell) and Paul (Ben Platt).
As children, the three were thick as thieves when Eloise would spend time with her mum and step-siblings during the holidays. As they grow older, there was a falling out. Both Alice and Paul are not in a good place in their lives. Alice is seeing a married man, who is also her boss, Jonathan (Jorma Taccone), while Paul’s boyfriend, Dominic (Karan Soni), is controlling. Paul also bears a grudge against his mother for what he sees as her erasure of Bill soon after his death. They resent Eloise, her wealth, and her privilege, and they feel that she has things easy while they struggle.
Eloise is desperate to belong to a family and sees her upcoming marriage as a way to bring everyone together including Donna and Henrique. While Donna is eternally optimistic and thinks it is a great idea, her children do not. A series of events get Alice and Paul to London for the wedding with their amazingly chipper mum.
After tears, trysts, urinating on shoes, threesomes, and a battle with a furious wife who has not slept in four days, it all comes right in the end. The movie putters smoothly along the well-worn rom-com tracks. The cast is easy on the eye and who does not love weddings even if the bride has a meltdown on the votive candles being off-white instead of white?
There is nothing to hate about the film and, unfortunately, neither is there anything to love — it is the kind of film that offers mild, and completely forgettable amusement.
The People We Hate at the Wedding is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video