Richard’s Wedding | Movie review
Old friends reunite for a wedding in this grating NYC gabfest.
In Richard’s Wedding, narcissistic blowhards multiply like rabbits. The film is an exercise in escalating annoyance; its cast of characters balloons constantly, with each new thirtysomething more obnoxious than the last. At first there are only two: gabby beardo Tuna (writer-director Onur Tukel) and scolding gal pal Alex (Joe Swanberg survivor Jennifer Prediger). He has the self-deprecating “charm” of an out-of-work stand-up comedian. She has a temper that’s compared to “a tsunami of anger.” As these nattering New Yorkers walk and talk their way through the city, en route to the titular social gathering, the thought of spending an hour and a half in their exclusive company may seem daunting. Just wait until you meet the rest of the guests.
More of a DIY Metropolitan than the platonic Before Sunset it initially resembles, Richard’s Wedding overdoses on combative, pseudo-intellectual chatter. Tukel is a fine actor and a better director; his ease with performers and elegantly loose shooting style bode well for future projects. The trouble is, this portrait of long-term friendship among aging bohemians is populated almost entirely by self-absorbed, unfunny gasbags—including an Ayn Rand–loving entrepreneur (Darrill Rosen) whose claim to fame is an app that turns your iPhone into a joy buzzer. You may wish you had that program handy, if only to shock yourself awake during one of the many overwritten shoot-the-shit sessions.