The Big Wedding

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Big Wedding Movie Poster Image
Award-winning actors wasted in forgettable, racy comedy.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

In the end, family members and best friends repair their relationships and commit to having a blended family of relatives who trust and love each other, despite their many flaws and personal problems. They lie and deceive to get there, but their intentions are mostly good.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although everyone has many hang-ups and relationship issues, each of the family members realizes that honesty and open communication is the key to getting past old hurts and betrayals. The adult siblings are successful and care about each other.


Physical comedy includes people falling fully dressed into a pool and Don getting slapped or punched by each of the women in his life.


The very first scene includes a discussion of oral sex and a man about to perform it on his dressed (except for her underwear) partner. A 29-year-old doctor is a virgin who wants to save himself for someone special but then is easily seduced by a Colombian woman who strips to skinny dip with him (she's shown from the back). She also fondles him at the dinner table. Premarital sex is discussed in front of a priest. The entire family discusses their mother's discovery of tantric sex and her "9-hour orgasm." Two loud sex scenes include exes who do it for old times' sake and a virgin who promptly wants to do it again after his first time. Parents discuss adultery, and another set of parents talks about bisexuality and having an open marriage. Discussion of medical sexual aids (i.e. pills).


Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "douche," "d--k," "c--k," "bang," "muff," "hell," "ass," "crap," "oh my God," and one "c--t."


Brands notably shown or mentioned include Alfa Romeo, Mac, Cartier, the Plaza, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Don and Father Moinighan discuss going through AA together and how hard it is to stay on the wagon. On the wedding day, Don gets drunk and starts spouting off inappropriate comments. Adults are shown having drinks throughout the wedding weekend at dinners and receptions. Lyla tries to smoke in a hospital but is stopped.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Big Wedding is racier than most family wedding comedies and could make for an uncomfortable parent-teen movie night. There's lots of sexual content -- the opening scene shows Robert De Niro about to perform oral sex on Susan Sarandon -- as well as discussion of virginity, sexual orientation, and open marriage. There's also adultery, public displays of (more than) affection and brief nudity (a woman's naked behind is visible as she skinny dips). In addition to the sex jokes and sex scenes, you can expect frequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," etc.) and drinking (the father and the priest are both alcoholics).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDan G. April 30, 2013

Way too much explicit sex and language for children of any age

It's no surprise this is rated R. This movie is full of explicit irresponsible sexual behavior, nudity, endorsement of casual sex, homosexuality, and adul... Continue reading
Adult Written byTeenyelisa July 26, 2019

Don’t be fooled by the cast!

Prejudice, over sexualized, disturbing humor, dysfunctional family dynamic, anti-God. This entire movie was cringeworthy. One big FLOP
Teen, 16 years old Written bycurioser November 28, 2020


not at all an R rated movie, I was hoping for more adult content but except for some scenes it was kind of PG. other than that, it's an okay movie, definit... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byVelvet X July 25, 2020

Best movie I’ve seen

I think there is some sex reference on a scale of 1-10 I would say 6 because there is nothing graphic just some talk and really most 14 already know it. It is a... Continue reading

What's the story?

Ellie (Diane Keaton) is returning to her former home with her ex-husband, Don (Robert De Niro), for the wedding weekend of their Colombian adopted son, Alejandro (Ben Barnes), and his fiancee, Melissa (Amanda Seyfried). But when Alejandro realizes that his devout Catholic birth mother, Madonna (Patricia Rae), doesn't know that his parents are divorced, he asks them to pretend to be married for the weekend. This means that Don's live-in girlfriend (and Ellie's former best friend), Bebe (Susan Sarandon), has to move out, and older siblings Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace) all have to play along. When Madonna and her beautiful sister, Nuria (Ana Ayora), arrive, the already dysfunctional family is thrown into disarray trying to keep Don and Ellie's divorce a secret.

Is it any good?

How such a talented group of actors could have signed on for such a mediocre comedy is a mystery. Writer-director Justin Zackham has included so many ridiculous plot points in THE BIG WEDDING that the entire movie is hard not to scoff through -- like the idea that Ellie would be so forgiving to a best friend who slept with her husband, or that long-divorced exes would have sex when one of them is in a committed relationship, or that a 29-year-old virgin who promised to wait for love would forget all of that at the sight of a his adopted brother's hot Colombian birth sister. The examples go on and on, and instead of being funny, they just make it obvious why the movie is little more than a series of gags strung together over one ludicrous weekend.

It's a shame that such a talented ensemble couldn't have gathered for a better movie. Instead, The Big Wedding will make audiences wistful for far funnier wedding or family reunion comedies like Father of the Bride, Meet the Parents, or My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Sure, there are a few laughs, but for the most part, the only impressive aspect of the movie (which at one point devolves into a feature-length homage to sexagenarian sexuality) is that British actor Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) ably pulls off playing a bilingual Colombian American.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of wedding movies. Why are weddings such a popular setting for both drama and comedy?

  • Discuss the idea that family is more than biology. How does Alejandro view his family? Why are Bebe and Ellie able to overcome the adultery in their past? Do you think the family's interactions are believable?

  • Alejandro's ethnicity is brought up again and again as a matter of concern to Melissa's Caucasian parents. Do you think racial and ethnic prejudice are still prevalent in American society?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family comedies

Themes & Topics

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