American films

Destination Wedding film review: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder in talky anti-romance

The opposite of Before Sunrise, this is hate at first sight; two guests flying to a destination wedding verbally destroy their fellow guests and themselves

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 7:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 12:55pm

3/5 stars

Very much a reverse of the Before Sunrise idea, this talky anti-romance features a man and a woman who, rather than fall in love, hate each other at first sight. The combative nature of their relationship makes the long, self-critical chats bearable. But the misanthropic nature of the piece, along with the fact these are the only two characters who utter any words, mean that it gets boring before the end.

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A destination wedding is an event that happens in a place that’s a hundred miles or more from where the bride lives. Frank (Keanu Reeves) and Lindsay (Winona Ryder) meet at the airport on the way to a small Californian town, and immediately dislike each other. On the plane, they realise they are both en route to Frank’s brother’s wedding – the groom is also Lindsay’s ex-fiancé.

On arrival, they attempt to avoid each other but inevitably end up talking, drawn by their intense dislike of the groom and his bride. Bickering and self-analysis occur, and an unexpected encounter with a mountain lion makes them realise they have a lot in common.

Destination Wedding tries hard to be an adult comedy, and the way the duo verbally destroy the wedding guests – as well as each other – is darkly amusing. But the dialogue is often very flat, consisting of 90 minutes of one-liners, so the movie never comes to life as it should.

Still, it’s nice to see Ryder in such an actorly role, and Reeves brings some of his old charm to his character.

Destination Wedding opens on October 11

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