Margot at the Wedding Movie Review
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black and Nicole Kidman star in Margot at the Wedding, a quirky comedy-drama that works on many levels but never quite attains the perfect balance that has made films such as Little Miss Sunshine so good.
Kidman plays the title character, who is an overbearing bitch of a sister. She doesn't realize she has issues, and in fact prides herself on the fact that she keeps her mouth quiet, but she slowly and subtly injects her opinions into the minds of those around her. Leigh plays her sister, a rather warm and loveable woman who has decided to get married to Jack Black's character, who, aside from being friendly and rather funny, doesn't have much going for him (he's unemployed, chubby and has a moustache). Needless to say, Margot's arrival puts a knife into their relationship, and it will take all of their power to stay together.
Margot at the Wedding is entertaining in a very subtle way. It rarely has a laugh-out-lead scene, and as such it was probably unfair to compare the movie to Little Miss Sunshine earlier in this review. In reality, the movie is a drama with humor; there are a lot of weird circumstances, including a tree falling onto a wedding tent, a hillbilly boy beating up Margot's son and a few other things, but for the most part it's a character drama about three drastically different people who have to come to terms with one another. As such, the movie succeeds relatively well; it has some interesting characters and is entertaining for the most part.
Still, there's not that much to the movie. The film gets clunky in the third act as it tries to tie up all the loose ends. A little more comedy would have gone a long way. The drama isn't overly powerful or memorable. Ultimately, there is no real convincing reason to ever see Margot at the Wedding.
On that note, though, Kidman is very good in her role. While Black and Leigh are also good, Kidman catches your eye the most. Unlike in most of her movies, her character is rather unflattering; while she still looks pretty, she carries herself like a normal person, with normal makeup and a normal appearance. To top that off, her character is intentionally unlikable, yet to Kidman's credit, she still convinces us that she's worth "rooting" for.
Margot at the Wedding is decent, and as far as indie fare goes, it has its moments, but the movie never elevates itself to a level where it's exception in any way or form.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.