The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding is a 2013 American comedy film written and directed by Justin Zackham. It is an American remake of the original 2006 Swiss/French film Mon frère se marie [fr] (My Brother is Getting Married), written by Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan.

The Big Wedding
The Big Wedding Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Zackham
Produced byJustin Zackham
Anthony Katagas
Clay Pecorin
Belle Nuru Dayne
Richard Salvatore
Harry J. Ufland
Written byJustin Zackham
Based onMon frère se marie
by Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan
Music byNathan Barr
CinematographyJonathan Brown
Edited byJon Corn
Two Ton Films
Millennium Films
Distributed byLionsgate[1]
Release date
  • April 26, 2013 (2013-04-26)
Running time
89 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$35 million[3]
Box office$46.5 million[3]

The film stars a large ensemble cast including Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams. It was released on 26 April 2013 by Lionsgate in the United States and Canada.[1]


Don and Ellie Griffin were a New England couple married for twenty years before they divorced. They have three children from their marriage – Lyla, Jared, and adopted son Alejandro, who originates from Colombia.

In preparation for Alejandro's wedding, Ellie arrives at Don's (and her old) home, and lets herself in. She interrupts Don just as he is about to perform oral sex on Bebe, his girlfriend of eight years (and Ellie's former best friend). All are embarrassed, but they make small talk, and he shows Ellie to her room. Meanwhile, Alejandro and his fiancée Missy are meeting with Father Moinighan, the priest who will be marrying them. It is revealed that Alejandro's biological mother Madonna is going to be coming from Colombia to the wedding, which upsets Alejandro since he does not have a "traditional" family, and his Catholic mother would not approve of that or the fact that Don and Ellie had been divorced.

Lyla, who reveals she is separated, goes to the hospital and sees her 29-year-old brother Jared, an OB, after passing out. They talk and it is revealed that he is a virgin and is waiting for the "right one". Back at home, Alejandro tells Ellie about his mother coming to the wedding. Explaining that since she is a devout Catholic and doesn't believe in divorce, Alejandro asks Ellie and Don to pretend to be married for the next three days. Hearing this, Bebe becomes upset and leaves the house, clearly upset at Don. Alejandro's mother arrives with his biological 20-year-old sister, Nuria. Later, Nuria flirts with Jared, after she brazenly strips naked to skinnydip in the family's lake as he watches.

That evening, the family goes out to dinner with Missy and her parents Muffin and Barry, and Bebe shows up as their waitress, which surprises everyone. Meanwhile, Nuria starts fondling Jared under the table, and Ellie sees Nuria giving Jared a handjob. She takes Nuria to the restroom for a chat, telling her that American women behave differently with men. When they arrive home, Jared tells Nuria he wants to have sex, as she had suggested earlier, but she tells him "No", asking him instead to do romantic things for her such as read her poetry. Don and Ellie, meanwhile, end up having sex after Ellie, still pretending to be Don's wife, sleeps in Don's room.

Ellie and Madonna go for a walk in the woods and talk. Neither understands the other's language, though they think they are communicating on some level. At the same time, Don and Lyla talk privately and Lyla reveals she is pregnant. On the wedding day, before the ceremony, Don tells Bebe he had sex with Ellie. Bebe says she forgives them but then punches him in the face. She also reveals that Ellie cheated on Don with Missy's father before Don cheated on her. Muffin says that she knows about Ellie and Barry, and tells them that she is bisexual, implying that she is interested in a sexual affair with both Bebe and Ellie. Meanwhile, Missy and Alejandro have decided to get married on the family dock to escape the chaos. The family runs after them and, after some of them fall into the lake, the wedding reception is on.

During the reception, Jared goes upstairs to talk to Nuria, who tells him she has decided to no longer follow Ellie's advice (about not being so available sexually), and they sleep together. Back at the reception, Ellie and Bebe have made up. Don surprises Bebe by proposing to her, and they get married on the spot. Lyla's husband Andrew arrives at the wedding and, upon finding out that Lyla is pregnant, reconciles with her. Alejandro's mother realizes she has been lied to about his family and he runs after her as she starts to leave. But she reveals that her own past was not as pure as he thought, that she too had lied to protect him, and she forgives him.

Time passes and it is revealed that Lyla has had a daughter named Jane, as Don attaches a plaque with her name to their family tree.



The film was previously titled The Wedding. It is an American remake of the original 2006 French film, Mon frère se marie (My brother is getting married), which was written by Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan.

Principal photography took place in Greenwich, Connecticut. Locations included St. Agnes Church in Greenwich, Christ Church Greenwich, Gabriele's Italian Steakhouse, and a private home in the town's Stanwich section.[4]

Director Justin Zackham and producer Clay Pecorin appeared on a season 6 episode of TLC’s Cake Boss. They ordered the wedding cake for the film from Buddy Valastro at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ.


The film received largely negative reviews. The Big Wedding holds an 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 111 reviews, with an average rating of 3.19/10. The website's critical consensus states, "The Big Wedding's all-star cast is stranded in a contrived, strained plot that features broad stabs at humor but few laughs."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 28/100 based on reviews from 32 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[6] One observer pointed out that The Big Wedding's reviews are among the worst of the year.[7] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post wrote, "'I'd rather gouge my eyes out with hot spoons!' De Niro exclaims at one point. I'm not sure exactly what he was talking about, but I'd like to think it referred to the prospect of being forced to watch The Big Wedding."[8]

According to business outlets, the movie "was a massive flop at theaters", even though it recouped its production costs by a few million dollars.[9] It opened with a $7.5 million at 2,633 North American locations, leading one observer to state, "Expect domestic exhibitors to file for divorce in the very near future."[10] Another commentator stated that "There's little reason to suspect it will stick around any longer than theater owners are contractually obligated to keep it."[7]

Heigl was nominated for Worst Supporting Actress at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards in 2013, where she lost to Kim Kardashian for Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Lionsgate Says 'I Do' to The Big Wedding With Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton". TheWrap. August 2, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Big Wedding (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 8, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  3. ^ a b The Big Wedding, May 15, 2013, Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ Gargan, Scott (April 25, 2013). "'The Big Wedding,' filmed in Greenwich, opens in theaters Friday". Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Big Wedding (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Big Wedding Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Weekend Wrap-Up: Gain for Pain, but Wedding Small, The Numbers, April 30, 2013.
  8. ^ Lumenick, Lou. "The Big Wedding has something borrowed, something blue and nothing funny", New York Post, April 25, 2013.
  9. ^ Acuna, Kirsten. Mark Wahlberg Brings The 'Pain' – Here's Your Box-Office Roundup, Business Insider, April 29, 2013.
  10. ^ Gille, Zac. "The Big Wedding box office: All-star 'family comedy' bombs", Alt Film Guide, April 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Worst Supporting Actress, The Razzies 2013

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