After the Wedding has the dubious distinction of having the lion's share of its dialogue delivered by Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup. That's a solid pedigree for starters. This remake of a 2006 Swedish film has a soap opera plot for sure, but you won't care when it gets a little melodramatic.
Williams does so much with facial expressions in this movie, it's otherworldly. As Isabel, a woman visiting New York in an effort to raise funds for her charity, she reminds us of the power of simple expressions. She also reminds us that she's a master at blowing the roof off the house with volume if the script calls for it.
As Theresa, the businesswoman who might find herself cutting a big check for Isabel and her overseas orphanage, Moore doesn't just match Williams's power, she merges with it and blows the shit out of the acting meter, if such a thing exists. (It doesn't...I made it up) Moore simply destroys in the role, whether her character is quietly closing a deal or getting super drunk at lunch (Moore is also good when the script calls for volume).
This is one of those movies where I really can't tell you too much about it. Yes, it has a wedding in it, as the title implies. Grace (Abby Quinn), daughter of Theresa and Oscar (Crudup), a famous artist, is getting married to lame guy Frank (Will Chase). Circumstances call for Isabel to attend the wedding, and, well, lots of things happen after the wedding, as the title implies.
The movie gets progressively nutty, blasting right off the reality train tracks and going off into the land of "This only happens in the movies." And, yet, I couldn't help but be deeply moved by what transpires, silly as it was. Again, credit Williams, Moore and Crudup for that.
It bends logic, has plot holes, and throws a mystery at you that seems a little more than implausible. And, yet, I wept watching this thing. I'm not saying you will weep. You might watch this movie, and at those moments where you get the cue to weep simply say aloud, "Grimm, you are a stupid pussy!" Well, I accept your pussy remark, and stand proudly by the fact that this movie made me cry like a kid who had his Etch-a-Sketch taken away. I realize that the toy reference is a bit dated. I was a child of the '70s. Piss off.
Sorry. After a good cry, I can be a little cranky. I watched this on a home screener, and so I am literally writing this while the tears are still drying on my stupid fat face. My dog is looking at me all like, "Come on, dude. You have to have bigger balls than that. You are a pussy. Give me food."
Come Oscar time, I'm not too sure After the Wedding will get a lot of fanfare. While the performances are as good as anything that has hit screens so far this year, the script is straight out of Days of Our Lives. And, yet, cry I did. Have I told you that this movie made me cry? I think I did. Oh yes, I most certainly did.
OK I'm almost to the end of my review and I think I've done a damn fine job of not revealing too much about the plot and stuff. This is the part where I will talk about the fine camerawork to kill off some extra word space. The camerawork is really good in this movie. Actually, I'm not just saying that to eat up words in my review even though that is actually what I'm doing. The camerawork really is top notch.
Alright, so this is the final paragraph, and I do realize that most of this wasn't really a review. Go see After the Wedding if you want to cry, or you simply want some extra fuel to make fun of me with in the event that it doesn't make you cry. Go ahead. Call me names. I've had a good cry and I'm feeling mighty vulnerable. ■