“The People We Hate at the Wedding” Movie Review

Story posted November 30, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Sophia D’Ovidio

Over Thanksgiving, Amazon Prime released a star-studded ensemble comedy with “The People We Hate at the Wedding.”

It’s hard to think of three more likable celebrities than Alison Janey, Kristen Bell and Ben Platt.

Even with Platt being less favorable following the “Dear Evan Hansen” movie in recent years, the actor's talent is undeniable. His performance in this film makes that disaster feel like a distant memory.

“The People We Hate at the Wedding” follows Donna (played by Janey) who, following a divorce from her first husband, has a daughter Eloise (played by Cynthia Addai-Robbinson), who spends half of the year in England with her father and the other half in America with her mother.

Since Donna moved to America, she remarried and had two more children, Alice (played by Bell) and Paul (played by Platt).

Now, with the children being adults, this non-traditional family has many issues with one another and is reluctantly reunited in London for Eloise’s lavish wedding, where the family's problems and dysfunction come to light.

Bell has stated in interviews this movie is something special as it allows families at home to watch their characters and the family's flaws and not feel as bad about their own.

A well-timed release, considering the holiday season, highlights many people's problems with their families.

The film weaves Janey, Bell and Platt’s somewhat separate storylines as the three all have issues within their love lives that they are dealing with while in London.

Alice is shown in a relationship with her tech-genius boss Johnathon (played by Jorma Taccone), despite him being married with a newborn.

Paul is introduced in a loving relationship with his boyfriend Dominic (played by Karan Soni); however, the two often are not on the same page in terms of experimenting and expanding their relationship.

Donna is possibly exploring the rekindling of her relationship with her first husband, Henrique (Issach de Bankole), as the two are reunited at their daughter's wedding.

As the three main characters navigate their tumultuous love lives, they are also forced to reevaluate their relationships with one another, their sister and themselves.

The film is mainly heartwarming and decidedly entertaining. At a 99-minute run-time, the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome and tells an earnest and amusing story of love and dysfunction.

That being said, “The People We Hate at the Wedding '' has the kind of cast that would have created a classic comedy film.

However, the movie is rarely legitimately funny, except for a few physical comedy scenes.

Additionally, weaving the character's storylines is not done to the best of its ability.

There are often distressing scenes followed by silly ones, which doesn’t just undercut the emotional value but makes it hard to get on board with the more comedic moments.

Certain emotional moments feel rushed; however, the film's short runtime works more in its favor than against it. The thematic whiplash may be more to blame for some undeserving moving moments.

Contrastingly, one of the final shots in the movie with Bell, Platt and Janey perfectly encapsulates why having a cast of this stature is so essential.

The three perfectly balance a touching conversation with witty banter, something most families can relate to.

The cast of this movie indeed carries it on its back. It’s hard to watch actresses like Bell or Janey and not be captivated; a lesser cast would’ve made this generally good movie almost unwatchable.

“The People We Hate at the Wedding” has a unique and quirky concept, an outstanding cast but a mediocre execution; it’s a fun watch but likely won’t make any “best of the year” lists.

Rating: 3/5

Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email sgd5184@psu.edu.