I saw this film last week on my "day off" from SAHMing (stay-at-home-momming) while Billy was home for vacation. I was prepared to see a film that was a bit light, but heavy and a bit dark (which I gathered from the previews), but I had no idea how emotionally draining and wonderful this film would be. I heart films about family dysfunction and screwed up individuals and this one is sufficiently depressing. There is so much love between the members of Rachel's family. There is a beautiful wedding, quite possibly the most beautiful wedding I've seen in terms of the focus on the love between the bride and groom and their soon-to-be blended families, still there's a cloud so thick over the events leading up to the wedding. The resentment and anger and bitterness and baggage all stemming from a past tragedy is palpable. It's all there and there is no redemption, no forgiveness (of self or others), and no sign that there ever would be any. There is only the gut punch from reality that at the end of the day, some things are just going to suck. Period. Deal with it. And that's real, you know? Sometimes, in life, there is no bright side--some things will just always suck, you know?
I cried mixed tears of happiness and of sadness pretty much throughout the last two-thirds of the film. I watched it during the day too, so I couldn't hide it from people as I exited out into the daylight. And the music! Y'all the music! There's rock, folk, reggae, samba, jazz, a little soul, some R&B. The cast is an eclectic mix of folks of different races and cultures--it's delightful. And if Anne Hathaway doesn't win an Oscar for this role, somebody needs to reevaluate whose voting, because she took it there in this film.
Here's the preview in case you haven't seen it already. Watch it.