8/03/2015

Film review: "Jenny's Wedding" (2015)


"She's always been so secretive."
"Not when she was little. She was really open when she was little."
"Yeah, she was. I wonder what happened."
"Who knows?"

What happened is that I watched a really good movie. And the thing is, I've never seen one quite like it. Nowadays the entertainment industry produces hundreds, if not thousands of movies or TV shows that are just made to address the mainstream crowd. They are purely there, to make money, not to tell a story. So finding a unique movie, one, that addresses things that people can relate to, that has an actual story behind it and has meaning is very difficult. And from time to time, I stumble upon a movie with an interesting description, thinking it might actually be good. And surprisingly, I found Jenny's Wedding to be good. 


The Story

Jenny, who has always been the favourite child in her family, finally decides she wants to get married. Her family has been pressuring her for a long time to find a husband and to start a family of her own. When Jenny mentions that she might be in a relationship, her sister goes around spreading the rumour that she's seeing a married man. (In her sisters defence, Jenny hasn't actually introduced them to anyone she's been seeing so her sister figures she can't and assumes it must be someone who's married) The thing is, Jenny is in fact in a long term relationship with someone - it's just not a man. Kitty, Jenny's "roommate" (so her family thought) is actually Jenny's girlfriend / fiancĂ©. Wanting to get married, Jenny has no choice but to finally come out and tell her family that she is gay. 
The story then goes on to show how not only Jenny, but also her family deal with the "new reality". Especially Jenny's parents, Rose and Eddie, have a hard time accepting the fact and turn their back on her, somewhat ashamed and wondering what they could have done "wrong" raising their daughter. 


The Main Characters

Jenny (Katherine Heigl) has been living her life, but has always been guilty for keeping a such important part of her from her family. The more time passed, the worse she would feel about "lying" to her family. As she finally builds up the courage to tell her family, it doesn't go quite as well as she had hoped. Stuck between choosing her family's happiness or her own, Heigl manages to bring across the role of Jenny quite well. Her acting in the more dramatic scenes is great. We all know that Heigl has done some good and some bad movies, the last ones being not so great. Because of that and her trashed reputation, she has had to take on smaller roles or move to smaller films (smaller budget, more unknown actors/producers/directors). In my opinion she is not a bad actress, she just got caught up in all the fame. But smaller films suit her. Way to go Katherine!

 

Kitty (Alexis Bledel) has been Jenny's partner for 5 years. She is supporting and loving. I would have loved if the film would have also showed more of Kitty as you don't get to know of her experience coming out to her parents - she also doesn't talk about it. The chemistry between Heigl and Bledel could have been better, but the movie didn't really focus on that too much. 




Rose (Linda Emond), Jenny's mother, is unsure how to feel about Jenny's "news". Being a loving mother, but also a housewife in a very talkative neighbourhood, she never thought something like this could happen to her family. At first she asks Jenny out of fear not to tell anyone other than herself and Jenny's father. She soon realises though that family is family, no matter what. Linda Emond does a great job, particularly in the more dramatic scenes.


Anne (Grace Gummer - Meryl Streep's daughter) is Jenny's sister and has always been very jealous of her mom's and  sister's relationship. She also likes to gossip quickly, even about her own sister. Deep down she is suffering in her marriage and when she sees how happy Jenny is, she wants that kind of happiness too and starts to make changes in her life. I found her character at the beginning of the film very annoying and that tells me that she did a good job of playing her part.



Tom Wilkinson was chosen perfectly to play the father role, Eddie. He is probably the most challenged by finding out that his daughter is gay. He doesn't like to talk about his feelings and hides his full opinion at first. Later though, in an outburst he exposes his true feelings. He also is the one that takes longest to accept Jenny the way she is. (ps. sorry that I couldn't find a more flattering image)


Reflecting on the movie and what I have written, I would recommend it. I do have some small objections in the movie, one of them being that I feel like this movie was directed at people like Jenny's parents. "Old fashioned"people. 
I've heard and read mixed reviews about this film, some say it should have been made 20 years ago, when gay people were bigger outcasts in our society and being gay was perceived as "wrong". I disagree. I think the subject is still very up to date. Just because times have changed (the legalisation of gay marriage in various countries, acceptance, ...), doesn't mean the people, their views and opinions have changed. 20 years ago, marrying someone from the same sex would have been unthinkable. Now it's possible. And people deal with issues very much like in this movie every day. 
In conclusion I give "Jenny's Wedding" 7/10 *
Also, if you've seen or heard about the movie, I would love to hear your opinion!

Trailer:




2 comments:

  1. I felt similar to you. I just clicked randomly awaiting a stupid Hollywood empty story, but I was taken in quite fast. it was a lovely film. I agree the chemistry between the couple was not great, i was not really convinced that they are a couple. Otherwise I absolutely agree that this is happening today, I know of friends who separated in the end because the family who are very Christian exerted too much pressure. It's a shame this film does not get more credit. It should.

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    1. That's so nice to hear! I'm glad a few people have seen the movie, though - like you said - it deserves more recognition.

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