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The People We Hate at the Wedding

**
2022

‘…none of these people feel real for a moment; The People We Hate at the Wedding are now The People Who’ll Bore You Rigid In This Film…’

‘Save the HATE’ screams the posters for Claire Scanlon’s wooly rom-com, which doubles down on family discord at the expense of romance or common sense; this isn’t the story of a couple, tentatively getting together, but of a family who have stopped communicating with each other. While it’s heart may be in the right place, the results are very much not; Grant Ginder’s book is the source material, but whatever merits it might have are lost in a slew of lightweight sentiment, shonky local colour and agonising contrivance.

An overqualified cast are the big draw here; Kristen Bell plays Alice, sister of Paul (Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt) and the grown up children of Donna (Allison Janney). Donna has a daughter from a previous relationship with Henrique (Isaach de Bankolé), and when Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) plans a lavish wedding in Paris, US residents Alice, Paul and Donna prepare for a trip across the pond, complicated when Alice meets hunko Dennis Bottoms (Schitt Creeks’ vet Dustin Milligan) on the flight over…

The People We Hate At The Wedding aims for acerbic comedy, but the gags are toothless. Paul is gay, so can’t help smirking at the name Bottoms; that’s the level we’re talking about here. The stereotypes fall rather flat, but it’s the presentation of women as excitable if not hysterical drama-queens that really sticks in the craw. The picture of Merrie England, with floating hot tubs and bikinis on the Thames, is woefully lacking and the co-incidences just keep piling up. It’s barely comprehensible that Donna would stop the first stranger she meets in the street to announce her approval of her son’s sexual orientation, but it beggars belief that that person also turns out to be her daughter’s boss; there must more than a dozen people in London at any one time.

Central London 2022.

There’s something utterly deflating at seeing beloved performers like Bell struggling with barely there material; while Scanlon’s film has its hipster, neo-liberal values on display, there’s wheezingly ancient comedy routines buried behind the new-fangled equalities that are sold here. The People We Hate at the Wedding is watchable under duress; while hate may not be the right reaction, disappointment would be a more accurate reflection of the emotions likely. Haters gonna hate, but none of these people feel real people for a moment; The People We Hate at the Wedding are now The People Who’ll Bore You Rigid In This Film.

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  1. Doesn’t your boss obsessively stalk you and try to get into conversations with all your relatives? Doesn’t sound that coincidental to me. I think you’re over reacting like an excitable drama queen…

  2. Watchable under duress? I wouldn’t want to put that to the test. Sounds uncomfortable.

    Are hipsters neoliberals? I have trouble keeping up with these things.

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