The Big Wedding features an all-star cast headed up by Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams. This romantic comedy, directed and written by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) tells the tale of a modern family trying to survive a wedding celebration by keeping a divorce secret from the groom’s mother, resulting in uproarious fiasco. To celebrate the film’s release on May 29 here in the UK, we take a look at a selection of the best films already served up by this all-star cast, in no specific order.
Dead Man Walking – Susan Sarandon
This Tim Robbins‘ penned and directed movie is quite the emotional experience from the opening credits right up to the harrowing climax. The film provides an intricate portrayal of the brutal realities of life on Death Row and the whole state execution procedure. This profound, taut relationship of a family attempting to turn a blind eye to the harrowing, is devastating, ensuring its message will stay with you for a long time to come.
Taxi Driver – Robert De Niro
Taxi Driver has it all as I’m sure you already know. From the opening sequence it’s already clear we are in for one hell of a ride into someone’s personal nightmare. Martin Scorsese‘s film was the perfect showcase for Robert De Niro’s versatility with his portrayal of the alienated time-bomb that is Travis Bickle. It’s Taxi Driver. Enough said!
The Deer Hunter – Robert De Niro
Despite running over the three hour mark, The Deer Hunter never lets up, not even once. The stand-out features of this tale of three Pennsylvanian steelworkers ultimately heading to war include its portrayal of such a wide range of rich characters and the mere scope of the film’s vision. The infamous Russian roulette sequence is about as tense as cinema comes and quite rightly claimed its pedestal in cinema’s sanctuary of iconic scenes.
Knocked Up – Katherine Heigl
Knocked Up boils down to an authentic, family-affirming film. The troubled relationship between Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd provides the bulk of the film’s sharp humour although it must be said that the supporting cast provide their fair shaire of belly laughs. If you haven’t seen this we’re sure it’ll leave you with a smile on your face.
The Godfather – Diane Keaton
Filmaking and scripts don’t get much better than this. Its set pieces, highly quotable, highly imiteted dialogue and pretty much every single character became an icon of cinematic history. Everyone and anyone will be hard pressed to think of a moment in the film they didn’t find great. The Godfather most likely invented the word masterpiece. Talking of which, Nino Rota’s score mustn’t be left out of the praises above.
Alpha Dog – Amanda Seyfried
This chilling thriller is based on the real life of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became one of the youngest people to ever appear on the FBI’s most-wanted list. Nick Cassavetes directed the cast in style and we only wish Justin Timberlake would pull out as many stops in other films. Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster are on fine form also. Alpha Dog will have you absolutely immersed from start to finish, with twists and turns and intense chills right to the grave end.
Predators – Topher Grace
Alright, so no Oscar performances here but Robert Rodriguez and Nimród Antal pulled the Predator franchise out of the black hole it was in before then by remaining as close to the source material as possible. Rather than a cheap rehash we got an all-new, almost enjoyable plot, but what made this film shine was it’s old-school, sci-fi action flick throwback goodness. This taste of the 80s gave fans of the original the sequel they were all waiting for, with an unexpected and warmly welcomed action hero turn from Adrien Brody. Who would have guessed right?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Susan Sarandon
After the guilty pleasure that is Predators, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is included here for the same sake. For a movie that can only be described as a plot-free hotchpotch of old sci-fi films and Bowie tones gender-bending, it’s a film that never has, and never will, lose the charm it created. It’s just one of those films that flows with nostalgia and nothing can stop even this generation’s youth from singing along to “Let’s do the time warp again.”
Awakenings – Robert De Niro and Robin Williams
Possibly the film on this list I have the fondest of memories for. This stirring drama. in the vein of Rain Man. explores the magical chemistry between Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.
Director Penny Marshall knew exactly how to pluck away at the audence’s heart strings in this tale of the courage of both patients and doctors as the former experience a rebirth thanks to a ‘miracle cure’. De Niro’s best performance to date? Travis Bickle is hard to beat but this certainly isn’t far off that mark.
Maria Full of Grace – Patricia Rae
Despite being the debut for writer/director Joshua Marston, his film provided an amazing fly-on-the-wall look at how the Colombian drug trade preys on young women, using them as drug mules to smuggle produce into the US. Catalina Sandino Moreno shines as Maria, a 17-year-old Colombian girl risking her life by smuggling heroin in her stomach on a flight to New York. A more than accomplished journery into the darkest nooks and crannies of the dirtiest of businesses.
The Big Wedding in in UK cinemas from 29th May. We’ll leave you with the trailer.