Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1978. Lion’s Gate Films. Story by Robert Altman, John Considine, Screenplay by John Considine, Patricia Resnick, Allan F. Nicholls, Robert Altman. Cinematography by Charles Rosher Jr.. Produced by Robert Altman. Music by Tom Walls. Production Design by Dennis J. Parrish. Costume Design by J. Allen Highfill. Film Editing by Tony Lombardo. Golden Globe Awards 1978.
Multi-character Robert Altman film about a wedding that spirals quickly into a terrible disaster thanks to the various issues of its guests. At the centre is the union between a young woman and young man (Desi Arnaz Jr.,) who appear to be perfectly made for each other, but there are complications. Mom (Carol Burnett, in the film’s best performance) is being wooed by a relative from the groom’s side, grandma (Lillian Gish) has died upstairs in bed, her sister (Mia Farrow) has a devastating secret to tell and it only gets worse: storms, fights and an intrusive video crew only contribute to the melee. It’s surprisingly watchable despite the fact that it is something of a mess; there’s an uneven tone to the whole thing as Altman can’t decide between lofty satire and slapstick silliness, and not all of the characters come off fully realized. The ones that fly make it worthwhile, however, with Burnett giving an award-worthy turn even though the role veers into sitcom territory and often disappoints her.