30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 18, part II

| by Lou | 11.02pm UK time |

On the first attempt at Day 18 I couldn't think of a good example of the type of film I was referencing (this being of course a demonstration of how rare and rarely seen they are...), but I just realised that one of the beloved films in my DVD collection fits the bill perfect. Thus, Day 18 part II:

A film that you wish more people would’ve seen

Rachel Getting Married

Anne Hathaway plays a woman embroiled in a long-term battle with drug addiction who is released from rehab to attend her sister's wedding. All the family's demons come to the surface in an emotional shitstorm that is incredibly well written and well acted.

Unusually, the film treats its female leads as multi-faceted individuals with a relationship that is complex and fragile. The tension, shame, rage and love between the sisters is palpable, and it's such a treat to see them play it out to its full.

The other elements of the film also all veer away from Hollywood standard: the romantic relationships cross race without comment (usually it becomes the story, inherently positioning it as something atypical); their parents' family roles and personalities are against type; sex is portrayed as just sex; etc etc.

Before this I had never really understood what was so great about Hathaway, but this demonstrated that it's the lack of great roles to be lamented amongst Hollywood's It actresses, not a lack of acting chops. I wish this film had been seen by more people and made more money so that actresses like her were given more opportunities to tell stories about women and the relationships between women.

High recommended! In fact, I think you should feel obliged to pay money to hire/buy this DVD and help encourage more to be made like it.

6 thoughts on “30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 18, part II”

  1. Oh good call! I love this movie.

    But people look sideways when you try to recommend a movie starring Anne Hathaway about a wedding!!

  2. I LOVED this film. I agree with everything you've said about it, and the shit storm had both Louis and I sobbing. I'm often quite immune to those kind of scenes where the film is trying to manipulate you into feeling something, but this was so well crafted and built up and you know, 'as a mother', I couldn't help but get caught up in it. Just thinking about it is making my throat a bit lumpy.

    I'm also quite fond of the woman who plays Rachel, not simply because she's in Mad Men, but because she can do the gentle sarcasm thing very well.

    Oh and I would just like to join in the theme here and say Happy Go Lucky. And (I think by the same director, but in the 80s) High Hopes.

  3. Lotte, she is also in United States of Tara, which you should totally watch - if you are a goer on family shitstorms type dramas! ;D

    (It is also very funny, having been created by Diablo Cody. The show has just been canned after 3 seasons and I am SAD.)

  4. GOOD CALL LOTTE. I loved Happy-Go-Lucky - but it got so little love in the UK (I was stoked when it cracked the USA). (This country is so FUCKING SEXIST, fyi, for anyone to whom I have not mentioned this before.)

    It was so refreshing to see a film in which women in their 30s hang-out, acting silly together, whilst also having careers, and interests, and contributing to the world, and also just enjoying frivolity, without them being belittled or treated as incomplete people waiting for a dude. (I LOVED that they ended it on her rowing in the lake with her BFF.)

    Also so refreshing for a film to acknowledge the commonality and everydayness of misogynist FREAKS. Is there a woman in the world who hasn't come across a guy (or dozens of guys!) who have seemed kind of harmlessly weird in an ordinary guy way then turned out to secretly be an angry deluded stalker FREAK? Yet how often do you see a portrayal of it? Never - they're always mass-murderers or total sociopaths, or smooth womanisers with secret tendencies towards death. Not an unheard of phenomena, but not the everyday fear of all women.

  5. Agreed. I watched it thinking it was an easy chic-flick, and quickly became engrossed. I had to turn it off because I was paying half attention and I realised it deserved my undivided.

  6. So true - the trailer made it seem like some kind of cliche chick flick, and actually it is a super good film with so much depth :D