This slog of a film will have you checking your watch, wishing for an open bar, and begging for the sparkler sendoff.
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Underneath the plentiful high jinks in its physical-comedy-heavy scenes, The People We Hate at the Wedding ends up being a poignant enough good time that celebrates imperfect yet endearing familial love.
A short, patchy, straight-to-streaming piece of semi-amusing content that tries to fit several different romantic-comedies into a single movie that doesn’t have the bandwidth (or the interest) to mine any of them for major sources of romance or comedy, Claire Scanlon’s The People We Hate at the Wedding basically feels like watching a bunch of talented actors chug cheap red wine for 90 minutes.
It could be considered an achievement that a full-length feature movie with a talented ensemble cast, led by Kristen Bell and Allison Janney, couldn’t create a single character that you would want to spend more than five minutes with, but there it is. Not even picturesque London can save this witless comedy.
It’s not especially fair to criticize the movie that could have been made, rather than the one that was actually made. But even on its chosen terms of a family dramedy, People feels lopsided.
It’s pretty much a laugh-free film to make you appreciate the work of Nancy Meyers or Richard Curtis; their films may look easy or corny but they have something this doesn’t, a kind of buoyancy or a way of alchemising all the luxury tourist incidentals into something entertaining.
Those looking for a heartfelt tale of family and love might find this one misses the mark, but other viewers willing to go along for the ride could find themselves grinning by the credits. The People We Hate at the Wedding will likely be somewhat divisive, and that makes it a rather intriguing movie in the end.