‘Destination Wedding’ review: Lots of lines for Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, no one else
“Some marriages work.”
“Yes, and some people have six fingers.” – What passes for a catchy repartee in “Destination Wedding”.
It’s been more than a quarter of a century since Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves co-starred in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) and a dozen years since they were in the sci-fi thriller rotoscope “A Scanner Darkly ”(2006), and my God, did the two look great in their third film together, the romantic comedy“ Destination Wedding ”.
They’re 100 years old combined (with Keanu taking 54% of the pie), and how can that even be?
It was great to see Reeves kill him once again on the big screen in the “John Wick” movies, while Ryder did one of the best jobs of his career on the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”
So everything will be fine and their respective careers will continue to buzz, even after spending about 90 minutes complaining and testing our patience in “Destination Wedding”.
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What an odd little movie this is, with Reeves and Ryder throwing densely packed one-liners and mini-monologues that often sound so “writer” that we can almost see the dialogue on screen. It often feels like a two-character play – or reading a first draft of a two-character play.
Frank de Reeves and Lindsay de Ryder meet at the airport, immediately rub the wrong way – then find out that they are both on their way to a wedding in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
It turns out that Frank’s brother, Keith the groom, was engaged to Lindsay six years ago, and she’s still stuck with Keith, whom she hasn’t seen since he ended his relationship. .
Of course, once we get to the cozy and quaint Apple Farm and Restaurant and Inn, Frank and Lindsay have been placed in adjoining rooms, and much to their dismay, they are paired up throughout the weekend, from rehearsal dinner at some sort of a wacky fun games outing where they’re locked in giant bouncy plastic bubble stuff at a cellar excursion to the actual wedding.
Hmmm, do you think their feelings for each other will… change over the weekend?
Sure enough, Frank and Lindsay begin to bond because of their mutual resentment towards Keith the Groom and their shared penchant for sarcastic comments about everything that happens in front of them.
Watching an older couple, Frank says, “I guess the heart wants what it wants,” to which Lindsay responds, “Or whatever the pacemaker says it can have.”
I can’t tell you nothing about Keith the Groom, or the Bride, or anyone in the wedding party or for that matter anyone else in this movie, because we’ve never heard of it. ‘them or even see them in close-up.
Frank and Lindsay are the only characters who actually speak. Everyone is just there to provide visual support for their ongoing comments.
Writer-director Victor Levin takes an interesting but ultimately tedious and distracting approach to almost any scene. Many background players never move; they stand or sit in place, and they often seem oblivious to Frank and Lindsay’s presence. And even when Frank and Lindsay are talking loud enough, say at the wedding ceremony, heads don’t turn in their direction.
This has happened so many times, I started to think (in dread): Oh no, are they dead? Are they ghosts? Are they dead ghosts that no one can see? Is this the end of the game here?
SPOIL ALERT: I’m pretty sure they don’t joke about ghosts. These are just two very attractive but not particularly interesting or likeable people who seem to have had to memorize a lot of dialogue before being pushed together by the circumstances and the scenario.
Regatta presents a film written and directed by Victor Levin. Rated R (for language throughout and sexual content). Duration: 90 minutes. Open Fridays at AMC River East and on request.