Anne Hathaway is not what you think in “Rachel Getting Married”

When I first saw the title for Anne Hathaway‘s latest movie, I groaned. Rachel Getting Married — oh no, not another romantic comedy about a wedding. (Blerg, seriously, blerg.) But then, sensing the possibility for a good rant about the inane nature of the contemporary rom-coms, I clicked on the trailer anyway. Goodbye first impressions, hello not judging a movie by its title.

What I saw was entirely unexpected: Familial dysfunction, multicultural celebrations, redemptive love, biting humor, and Anne Hathaway as the bad girl — like rehab, relapse, sociopathic behavior, violent tendencies, Shiva the destroyer and harbinger of doom bad.

Rachel Getting Married has the jittery, cinéma vérité feel of a gritty independent but has the big names and hardware of a prestige piece. Besides Hathaway, it stars multiple Oscar nominee Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment) and is helmed by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia).

Written by first-time screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who comes with her own distinguished pedigree as the daughter of the Academy Award-winning director Sydney Lumet and granddaughter of Grammy-winning jazz singer Lena Horne, the story follows the unceremonious homecoming of rehab regular Kym (Hathaway) for her sister Rachel’s wedding (Rosemarie Dewitt).

I wasn’t sure about the trailer (dysfunctional families, gee, I’ve never seen that before) until it came to the scene of Rachel lovingly bathing her sister that I was sold. In a few quick moments, the sister dynamic between DeWitt and Hathaway already feels real and lump-in-the-throat inducing.

My one gripe? For Pete’s sake, that title is terrible. And the sad part is that it didn’t have to be so blandly generic. The movie was originally called Dancing With Shiva. Now that makes more sense. Heck, you might actually be able to drag a few men to go see Dancing With Shiva. But now I fear the theater will only be filled with some very disappointed romantic comedy fans scratching their heads and saying, “Heavens, what happened to that nice Princess Diaries girl?”

So, are you ready to witness Rachel Getting Married? And, more importantly, are you ready for Anne the destroyer? RSVP below.

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