I walked in wanting to hate it -- or at least her -- a pretty terrible admission on my part.
Why walk into things with such a closed mind??
I suppose it's just the way I am, and unfortunately for karma, I had it out for Anne Hathaway. (Think of her history, though!)
We went to this cinema in Westwood, somewhere in the wilds of L.A. We parked in the bowels of some parking garage and wandered up to the blissfully cheap(er than New York) box office for our tickets.
"What're your thoughts going in?" asks the chain-smoking new friend of mine, nervously looking about him as we three others think quietly.
One: "Oh, I love her. I know, I know, it's terrible. She's cheesy and ... well, I just have a celebrity crush on her! I can't help it!!" says the struggling screenwriter sitting next to me, who seems delightfully cynical in general. What's got hold of him???
Two: "Meh, I don't know. She's hot. I heard this movie's pretty good," says the dispassionate acquaintance.
Me: "She's going to be terrible!!!!!! Ahhhh, what's WRONG with you guys??!?!? Have you SEEN those NY taxi ads, lauding her as some brilliant, versatile young starlet?? [no, we're in LA, idiot] This is going to be bad."
I was very wrong. It was very good. SHE was very great.
Hathaway plays this 25 year-old girl who's recently left rehab, lands back at home in Connecticut to a sister who's getting married, a father who's hilariously domestic and effeminate, and a mother who's unavailable.
There's a great juxtaposition of Hathaway's nervous, negative energy being dropped into a wedding that's like a harmonious little haiku -- a bongo-playing band is continuously playing in the backrop of one of the most politically correct-seeming weddings of all time. Black man, marrying white woman, nontraditional, everyone loves everyone -- and we're in Connecticut.
Hathaway has an avenue to show all the manic tendencies one would be feeling at that time. And she really nails it, without being toooooooo cliche and over the top (there are times of that, of course, but they're easily overshadowed by The Good).
I really liked it. Once again, "Rachel Getting Married":
PS: Happy birthday, Brother.