Family: everyone has one. Sometimes they’re great and everyone gets along nicely, but for others they are fractured, with multiple issues, and in-fighting between family members. Nothing brings these issues to a head better than a major celebration, such as a wedding. That’s the case for the new comedy drama on Amazon Prime Video, The People We Hate at The Wedding.
American siblings Paul and Alice must travel to London for their half-sister’s wedding, along with their estranged mother. Alice, played by Kristen Bell, is an assistant and mistress to a married architect with a young child and wife at home. Her brother Paul, played by stage and film star Ben Platt, works for a strange therapy company, and brings his boyfriend Dominic along on the trip as his date.
Their mother Donna, industry veteran Allison Janney, strives to reconnect with her children, after the passing of their father a few years prior, and sees the upcoming wedding of her first child, from a previous marriage, as the chance to do this.
When I first read the premise of the film, and saw it was a comedy, I thought it may be something similar to the 2007 hit comedy Death at a Funeral. Boy, was I wrong. This doesn’t even come close! The film is an absolute dumpster fire. With such a good cast, I expected it to be reasonably good, and sure I’d get a laugh or two. Honestly, I don’t think I even smiled; it was just cringe worthy.
The film tries way too hard, and just uses all the typical tropes of a wedding film. The disastrous hen’s night, the rehearsal dinner that goes down the toilet, and the wedding day where the bride runs away, and the family must save her. It was so predictable!
The characters were also horrible. The whole family, aside from half-sister Eloise, were horrible, toxic people. How can you feel sympathetic for Alice who is dating a married man with a baby at home, having sex with him in the office supplies closet? It’s just gross! Then she meets a man on the plane and has a great connection with him but pushes him away from her boss. Nup, I’m not having it. Her brother Paul is just as bad too! And it’s easy to see why they’re that way after their mother’s story is revealed, but it’s no saving grace. She’s just as bad as they are!
For a pretty solid cast of actors, I found the performances to be so lacklustre, they were phoning it in. There was very little emotion, and everything was a little bit stiff. The delivery of jokes were also stiff, leaving them falling flat and me groaning. I’d honestly put these mistakes down to poor direction from the director since I know that these actors are more than capable.
Do yourself a favour and avoid this film at all costs unless you like being tortured. Spend 1.5 hours doing something more productive, like the dishes or cleaning the grout in your showers. That would be far more enjoyable than this so-called comedy film.