When Alice (Kristen Bell) and Paul (Ben Platt) receive invites to their estranged half sister’s (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) wedding in England, they couldn’t be more disappointed. They may have been close when they were kids, but something happened that prompted the three to lead separate lives. Their mother Donna (Allison Janney) hopes this occasion will get them to reconcile.
Sometimes a comedy is just what the doctor ordered and although The People We Hate At The Wedding was pegged as so, the genres did get a little muddled along the way. Mostly over the top and not at all realistic as a result, I couldn’t help but laugh at certain antics our characters found themselves in (the bachelorette party comes to mind). However, as the layers are peeled back and we learn about the events that transpired between the three siblings, the film takes a turn for the dramatic. I’m not sure if the shift in tone actually worked or if it ruined the vibe it otherwise had.
The all star cast of Bell, Platt and Janney is what initially drew me. Bell and Platt, in particular, as a snarky brother sister duo sounded like a dream come true. I only wish I could have been warned as to how unlikable these characters were! At the beginning, the audience feels like they need to root for them and in turn dislike other sister Eloise. However, as the film progresses, we start realizing the opposite. I think this would have been even more impactful had we had more insight to Eloise’s life in London and how she always felt left out.
At least the supporting cast and Eloise are a breath of fresh air. On the plane ride to London, Alice meets Dennis (Dustin Milligan). He’s clearly introduced as a love interest, yet its unfortunate Alice spends most of the time yearning after her married with a baby boss. Then there is Donna’s first husband and Eloise’s father Henrique (Isaach De Bankóle), who’s there to stir up trouble.
Overall, The People We Hate At The Wedding started off strongly and did manage to keep me entertained the whole way through. It’s just a pity that it lost the bite it had from the get go. I understand what they were trying to do, but it wasn’t executed properly.