The wedding/romantic comedy, The People We Hate at the Wedding from director Claire Scanlon (‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’ TV series episodes) is an adaptation by screenwriters Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux of Grant Ginder’s 2017 novel of the same name. I have not read this novel and cannot say how close the script is to the source material, but unfortunately, this is another romantic comedy that does not avoid predictability for several characters and the overall story. It most certainly has a talented cast led by Kristen Bell, Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect), and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) who are the American mother and half siblings of the soon to be bride who lives in London. There is animosity all the way around in this family and yet they plan to attend. As the audience will find out, they do not leave the “baggage” from the past and carry it with them to spill out days before the wedding.

Bell’s character Alice is in a relationship that is more beneficial for her boss Jonathan (Jorma Taccone) than for her, but she clings to hope he will join her in London. There are so many issues, and she provides an excellent performance of someone caught up in this “trap” instead of seeing herself as a deserving individual of better personal and professional relationships. Alice and her brother Paul (Platt) have been distant from their half-sister Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”) who has been raised in wealth because of her father, Henrique (Isaach De Bankolé), a wealthy French businessman in London and first husband to Donna (Janney). Alice and Paul were raised in a middle-class life with Donna and their late father, who appears to not have left them any inheritance – but neither are poor!

Ben takes his boyfriend Dominic (Karan Soni) to London for the wedding, but it turns out Dominic has some plans of his own when he communicates with a well to do and handsome professor. After viewing the film Bros early last month, I am more familiar with the issues being discussed in this relationship. The three actors did bring some humor to their roles and some scenes are funnier than others. I found the most humor when Ben is drunk at a reception and starts to relay what happened among the three to the future groom and his parents, but his story is cut short. The groom’s mother made me laugh after Ben is escorted away.

There is a bright spot for Alice when she meets a man on the plane, Dennis (Dustin Milligan). They have a good time together, but Alice is so ill-prepared for seeing the good while clinging to the pipe dream of Jonathan. Dennis has more than one reason for stepping away from her while in London and not disrupt Eloise’s wedding, but the family drama continues until they are all ready to face the nastiness of their handling life with each other.

Predictability is not an automatic sentence to avoid any film, especially rom coms, but Bell, Janney and Platt make a good trio of actors as they storm their way through the events and down the aisle.

Rating: R Runtime: 1 hour and 39 minutes

Release Date: Streaming on Prime Video as of November 18th

Source: Amazon Prime Video

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