The Big Wedding

  • Review Date: April 24, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Award-winning actors wasted in forgettable, racy comedy.
  • Review Date: April 24, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 90 minutes





What parents need to know

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

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.

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).

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:April 26, 2013
DVD release date:August 13, 2013
Cast:Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon
Director:Justin Zackham
Topics:Brothers and sisters
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, sexual content and brief nudity

This review of The Big Wedding was written by

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Written byAnonymous February 28, 2014


I expected a lot more from these actors, I was drawn to the big names in this movie, but ultimately disappointed. Basically the whole movie is about sex - who is sleeping with who etc. Nudity, constant sexual references and language. Big let down.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byironkid21 April 27, 2013

Crude multi layered all star casted wedding rom com is entertaining and sweet in the end if you can shut your mind off for 90 minutes...

The first time I saw the trailer for this movie was last year and it was supposed to come out on October 26, 2012. Then it got pushed to April 26, 2013, the week before all the big summer movies come out. Usually that's not a good sign but I can understand why because that week a lot of movies were coming out. I thought the movie looked okay and I really liked the cast. This movie so far is getting a really bad wrap from critics and I can understand why but I have to say I actually sort of enjoyed this movie. Don't get me wrong it's not great and the script definitely has it's problems but if you have low expectations and can shut your mind off for 90 minutes you'll probably enjoy it. The actors were really good. Robert De Niro was funny and Susan Sarandon was also really entertaining to watch and had a lot of charisma. I also thought Katherine Heigl was really good and while she has her haters and people that find her acting really enjoyable, I'm on the side that finds her acting really enjoyable. Sure she's playing the same character she almost always plays but instead of the whole "I'm desperate for a man" thing, she is heartbroken but I actually really felt for what her character was going through and I found her story really interesting and her and Robert De Niro have a moment near the end that's really touching. The rest of the cast is also really good including Ben Barnes, Topher Grace, Diane Keaton and Robin Williams was really funny as a priest even though he also played one in another movie that wasn't that funny. And Amanda Seyfried...I don't know she just didn't really get to do much. And I know what you think when you watch the trailer that it's gonna be another PG-13 rom com and that it's only rated R for language...NO! This movie isn't extremely inappropriate but it's really crude and there's a lot of sexual dialogue including two sex scenes and there's a lot of back stories about affairs and it sort of gets a little weird. Just a little warning. Like I said before, as weird as some of the inappropriate dialogue is MOST of it is pretty funny. And there is a ridiculous amount of plot holes in this movie most of them I found interesting some of them I just found a little weird and uninteresting most notably a plot hole between Topher Grace and his brothers' biological sister. And when you think about it, the story was kind of pointless. Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton had to pretend they were still married because they divorced and their adopted sons' biological mother is a hardcore catholic and thought divorce was a sin. At the end when she found out they divorced, she thought it was a sin but she didn't care. Overall, despite its script problems, some things that didn't make any sense, and some lame plot holes, I thought it was an entertaining movie that was funny, sweet in the end, has lots of touching moments between characters and if you turn your mind off for 90 minutes you'll except it for what it is
Kid, 12 years old April 28, 2013

The big wedding

Awful movie
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 adultery. The language is repeatedly peppered with the worst langugage that one could use. And unless you are raising your children to be atheists, you won't appreciate the deprecation of God to just another 'Wizard of Oz', a fool behind a curtain that does not really matter. This movie's message is clearly, 'There is no God, and the pursuit of selfish sexual pleasure is the answer to fulfillment.'
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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