A Wedding

One of Robert Altman’s lesser-know (or perhaps lesser-celebrated) films, A Wedding is an amusing farce involving two large, dysfunctional families – one old money but with possible links to the Mob, the other nouveau riche – who are drawn together to celebrate a couple’s nuptials. As with several of the director’s best films – Short Cuts, Nashville, etc. – there are multiple plot threads to follow, there’s lots of overlapping dialogue and an ensemble cast of characters to get to know; in terms of the latter the various family members are exagerrated cariacatures, and therefore it’s quite easy to get a handle on who’s who at the beginning of the story. Just as importantly there’s a wealth of wry lines, plenty of memorably daft behaviour, and spending two hours in their company is an absolute pleasure. It’s a comedy, but it has its fair share of dark moments too, which I liked. (****½)