This snappy comedy about a family who just can't seem to get along but who also love each other deeply has some very funny scenes as characters free-fall into excess.
But there are also moments in The People We Hate at the Wedding where you lose sympathy for the characters. Even if you understand the emotional pain driving their behavior, you might hate them well before the climactic wedding happens.
But, perhaps predictably, the film turns things around and lets better angels prevail by the end. Chalk the successful line-toeing in this film up to the talented ensemble cast, led by Kristen Bell, Allison Janney, and Ben Platt, whose characters are just barely in control of their lives.
Wondering whether they'll spin out completely is part of the fun, and we watch with a mixture of curiosity and trepidation alongside their lovers -- Jonathan, Dennis, Henrique, Dominic, and Alcott (all well cast, especially Dustin Mulligan and Karan Soni).
Also in the background are some laughably quirky scenarios -- very literal OCD treatments, a failed threesome, and a wedding full of Brits warning, "the Americans are coming!"
Through it all, Donna thinks her kids are perfect. And the film's theme of unconditional love, purposefully hard to comprehend or at times even abide by, comes through in her character.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.