Anne Hathaway has come a long way since Princess Diaries. She’s played a cool, comedic spy in Get Smart, an outspoken, 18th century writer in Becoming Jane, and a fantasy queen in Alice in Wonderland. In Rachel Getting Married, the first performance for which she received an academy nod, Hathaway returns a state of awkwardness and rebellion not seen since her debut.
Kym (Hathaway) has been floating in and out of rehab for years. She returns home to attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel (a wonderful Rosemarie DeWitt). Her return stirs previously stilled waters within her nuclear family, starting up tension, fights, and endlessly wonderful dialogue.
Rachel Getting Married is another movie about aging. This time, though, the protagonist faces not necessarily the physical realities of moving on in life, but rather the emotional and social responsibilities that come with age. Interestingly enough, although Kym wears her lack of emotional responsibility on her sleeve, the film’s other characters, too, struggle with the same problem. Rachel seems to need just as much attention as her sister does. The girls’ father stalks off to cry after he loses a contest against Rachel’s fiancee of who can load a dishwasher faster. And the girls’ mother comes late to the rehearsal dinner, leaves the wedding early, and slaps Kym across the face when the two have an argument.
The film's dialogue is intricate. It digs deep into relationships through the discussion of every day family matters. It is clear without being too obvious. The actors play their parts with seeming ease, most likely a tribute to Mr. Demme’s directing skill. Although some of the party scenes lasted too long, most of the film’s dialogue driven nature led me to fully understand characters. The camera’s shakiness made me feel guilty of peering into this family’s personal life. Such realism makes the point that perhaps emotional maturity does not necessarily attend physical aging, but rather is a constant process.