Year:  2022

Director:  Claire Scanlon

Release:  November 18, 2022

Distributor: Prime Video

Running time: 99 minutes

Worth: $10.00
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Allison Janney, Kristin Bell, Ben Platt, Cynthia Addai-Robinson

… a passable bit of silliness that lives up to its title.

Directed by Claire Scanlon (The Office, GLOW), The People We Hate at the Wedding follows an estranged, dysfunctional family as they’re reunited for their wealthy half-sister’s upcoming marriage. Despite the film opening with “Once upon a time…” and being centred around a wedding, there are no fairy tale heroes here. Every one of our protagonists is a self-absorbed mess with little to no regard for the people around them.

Usually, when a plot revolves around the bride’s cringeworthy family attending her nuptials, there are lessons learned and amends made, but this isn’t the bride’s story. As it says in black and white, these are the people we hate at the wedding, and they do a bang-up job of reminding us of that fact every time the all too likeable cast nearly manages to convince us that they might almost be worthy of our empathy.

The cast themselves are the true drawcard here: Allison Janney delightedly chewing the scenery as the mother to Kristen Bell and Ben Platt’s scornfully sardonic siblings; Dustin Milligan plays to his affable strengths in the kind of “nice guy” role James Marsden popularszed in romcoms of the early 2000s, while Randall Park and D’arcy Carden wander in for cameos that are fun but more distracting than anything.

With a plot that hinges on the kind of misunderstandings that could be cleared up with a single conversation, if anyone involved deigned to act like an adult for five minutes, it doesn’t so much reveal the cracks in their family dynamic as it brings to light entire Grand Canyon-sized fissures.

It’s an enjoyable enough little jaunt, if you don’t mind spending time with the kind of egocentric, petty people who make service workers’ lives hell, but while the cast may be loveable in all the ways their characters aren’t, the laughs simply aren’t big enough to make this anything more than a passable bit of silliness that lives up to its title.