Comedy, Drama, Romance, 1 hr 34 min
Log line: Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel shine in this touching tale of overcoming obstacles in the face of true love!
an amicable story with a mixed bag of emotions…
Jenny’s Wedding tells the tale of Jenny (played by Katherine Heigl), who after being in a steady 5-year relationship with her partner Kitty (Alexis Bledel) wants to get married and start a family, but struggles to tell her own family who are oblivious to her love life. Like most weddings themselves, this film looks great on paper and is brimming full of potential, given the A-list “guest list”, but rather than a fairytale outcome it delivers an amicable story with a mixed bag of emotions.
Written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue, Jenny’s Wedding released in 2015 was a bold effort at an underrepresented and under-produced category of film at that time: that is to say a film for a lesbian, bisexual, or queer audience. The story of the film’s protagonist being happy within her relationship but unhappy at having to hide it, which at the same time mirrors her sister’s seemingly perfect marriage that hides imperfections beneath the surface, bears similarity to the recently released mainstream woman-loving-woman (WLW) film Happiest Season. The story is no doubt a relatable one to many queer women who are closeted from their family, and it is important to see onscreen.
I believe the standout performance in this film was delivered by Linda Emond who played Jenny’s mother. She injected into the film an authentic portrayal of sense and sensibility clashing together to yield conflicting choices and outbursts. Meanwhile the music throughout the film was noticeably effective; oftentimes even more emotive than the scenes with dialogue. My favourite lyrics were “I can’t change even if I tried, even if I wanted to” (from Mary Lambert – She Keeps Me Warm), and “everything that’s come to pass is sand inside the hourglass” (from Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors – Hourglass).
Ultimately Jenny’s Wedding touches upon serious issues and presents as drama more than romance or comedy. All the characters appear to be simple, small-town folk; the kind who enjoy small-talk but are not big on expressing their inner feelings. This conservative behaviour I feel translates into an unfortunate disconnect both between the main couple and between the characters and the audience. Nevertheless, by the end of the film you do find yourself rooting for the brides-to-be and hoping desperately for a happy conclusion to the proceedings. Do they get their happy ending? You will have to see for yourself to decide. A wedding is one thing, a marriage and starting a family is another. There are some wise words scattered throughout the film that give value to the messages it is trying to achieve including “when you meet the right person and they change, you meet the right person all over again”, “when you meet the right person you go the distance”, and “how do I dig myself out of me?”
In essence Jenny’s Wedding is neither flamboyant nor all that dramatic; it does not focus on romance nor comedic factor; but it does have some key messages as well as a realistic outlook on a repressed daughter and her so-called “ordinary” family’s reaction to her revealing that she’s a lesbian. This is the type of film that may require the viewer to be a little patient to begin with as it may leave you wanting the grass to be greener, much like Jenny’s disgruntled sister Anne (Grace Gummer). Thankfully, it finishes on a high note with the Conga dance finally bringing exuberance and relief to everyone.
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Writer, Reviewer, Social
Ping believes in the power of love and kindness, and that "love is love" no matter what shape or form it comes in. She would like to see positive representation for all walks of life in film and media.