They don’t make matrimonial comedies like they used to. Not only are recent titles cleansed of distinguishing terms like ‘fat’ and ‘Greek’, they can’t even wait five screen minutes before showing Robert De Niro torpedoing his bristly goatee into Susan Sarandon’s willing crotch. (That it takes another ten minutes for Katherine Heigl to projectile vomit seems classily restrained by comparison.)
In this cloyingly crude and dispiritingly typical ensemble Hollywood farce, Don (De Niro) and Bebe (Sarandon) are hosting a wedding celebration for their adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and his bride-to-be Missy (Amanda Seyfried). Things get wacky when Alejandro doesn’t have the heart to tell his visiting ultra-Catholic Colombian birth mother that Don is no longer married to Ellie (Diane Keaton), the woman that raised him, prompting the bickering divorcés to reunite for one wild weekend of bed-hopping, face-punching and eleventh-hour reconciling.
Building on his script for The Bucket List, budding auteur of geriatric sex Justin Zackham panders to his wizened (and apparently very horny) target audience with a film that’s shot like a pharmaceutical commercial and references tantric orgasms, penile pumps and extramarital peccadilloes. But in between spikes of soapy sensationalism, The Big Wedding has a seriously hard time getting it up. De Niro and Keaton gamely summon semblances of characters from the tin-eared potty talk, but even they can’t save this impotent film from amounting to a big nothing.