Long-time friends Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder team up again for their fourth film together, “Destination Wedding”. Those looking for a sweet and charming romantic-comedy might want to look elsewhere. However, if you have an interest in seeing the two stars insult each other for 80+ minutes, this might be the film for you. “Destination Wedding” isn’t very good. It almost feels like a lesser version of “Before Sunrise”, featuring two emotionally damaged middle-agers. Yet, some of the mean-spirited banter between the two is genuinely funny.
“Destination Wedding” opens with Frank (Reeves) and Lindsay (Ryder) standing in an airport, waiting to board a plane. After paying Lindsay an awkward compliment about her dress, Frank immediately regrets that decision once she attempts to prolong the exchange. This leads to a couple of insult exchanges, with the hope of not having to speak to each other again. Obviously, we know that Frank and Lindsay are going to be forced to sit next to each other on the plane. We also know that they will be attending the same wedding.
One of the wise decisions made by writer/director Victor Levin was to leave out the wedding guests. Yes, they are at a wedding and we see the guests in the background, but we never actually see the main characters have any interaction with them. It is even more surprising since the groom is Frank’s half-brother and Lindsay’s ex-fiancée. Frank and Lindsay had never met prior to this occasion but they were aware of each other.
One of the biggest problems I had with “Destination Wedding” was that as the two became more intimate, the less enjoyable they were to watch. Frank and Lindsey are both quite negative people, Frank even more so. Once that negativity starts to diminish the less entertaining the film became. There is also a ridiculous sex scene that goes on for way too long.
The exchanges between the two as they get to know each other may have been a bit over-the-top, but there were some great snarky jabs that made me laugh (mostly from Reeves). I could see the two characters becoming very good friends, but the budding romance between them felt false. Your enjoyment of “Destination Wedding” will probably rely on how much you like the stars and if you are not turned off by their characters. Despite my issues with the film, I was entertained enough to give “Destination Wedding” a mild recommendation.
By: Marc Ferman