So yeah, I watch quite a bit of everything. Sure, I have stuff I stick with as a matter of course, but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s something I would never have thought it would be worth it for me to check out. And when you find it, you even have to watch it a couple times to wrap your head around what ever it is you just saw. And as always, I have written an opening here that makes no sense what so ever.
I’m talking about the movie Destination Wedding (Aviron Pictures 2018). Written and directed by Victor Levin, the story follows the path of two people as they go to and return from a destination wedding. And neither of them want to be there. One (Keanu Reeves character) is the brother of the groom and the other (Winona Ryder’s character) is the former wife of the groom. Neither of them care for the wedding party or pretty much any of the gathered family. In fact they are both fairly toxic all around.
But that’s just the basic gist of it all. See, it gets more interesting as you delve into the meta of the story as a whole. The entire movie actually revolves around these two characters. They are pretty much the only ones with dialogue (except for some tv and radio shows). We spend the entire time just watching these two interact with each other with no real regard for anything else that might be happening. This is the beauty of the film.
We have everything we need to get inside the world around the two speaking characters but we don’t see any of it. Our viewpoint is extremely limited and actually, that’s ok. Oh sure, we see glimpses at times. But the focus always comes back to them.
Now when you first glance at it, everything seems to be run of the mill and we sort of know the whole concept. I mean, we can look at pretty much anything on the Hallmark channel and have a good idea of what is supposed to happen throughout this story. And it all comes back to the interactions between the two characters. Who they are is the lynchpin that holds this whole thing together. If they were happy, if they were well adjusted, if they were “normal” this story wouldn’t have the feel that it does. It would probably suck.
But then, its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. We expect certain things and for the most part they are there. But in reality, we have nothing that would go on in a traditional love story. It makes the whole thing charming and fun. And I can’t believe I just said that. Really, the movie does follow a specific pattern. I remember watching it and checking off a few of the things I expected to see for the story itself. This wasn’t because of boredom or a dislike of the story. Actually, it was because it played so well, I wanted to see how it all tied together.
This isn’t something we see often enough anymore. Where most of hollywood is spending time and energy remaking throwbacks to pop culture moments, it is refreshing to see something that dares to be just that much different. And even more with this one, it was relatively unheard of. They weren’t shooting for blockbuster levels of audience engagement. This is a slow burn that may at some point reach a cult level of followers.
Yeah, I might be a member of that cult…
Anyway, this is one you should take the time to see. Oddly, I think this one was really meant to be seen on a smaller screen too. It seems much more intimate than what you might have encountered in the movie theater. I feel weird even suggesting that. This is coming from someone who lives for the theater. Movies were meant to be seen on the largest screen you can find. But sometimes, something comes along to challenge our assumptions.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.