When I first saw the trailer for Destination Wedding, a rom com featuring my two loves Keanu Reeves, (whom I’ve been a fan of since Bill and Ted’d Excellent Adventures) and Winona Ryder (whom I’ve loved since Edward Scissorhands), I coulnd’t have been more excited. However, our favorites aren’t always infallible and they do, on occassion, make poor choices when it comes to the projects they’re involved in. Such was the case for this movie, unfortunately.
Synopsis: Lyndsey (Winona Ryder) is off to Paso Robles, California for the destination wedding of an ex who dumped her in the midst of their engagement six years ago. Frank (Keanu Reeves) is off to the same wedding because he has no choice. Lindsay’s ex is his brother, after all. When these two jaded individuals meet, its instant chaos, but as they begin to find common ground, they find that maybe, just maybe, the world isn’t such a dark and gloomy place after all.
I really wanted to love this movie. I really did. But when love seemed like too much, as I discovered within the first five minutes of this rom com, I settled for wanting to like this movie. On and on it went and as my expectations plummeted, so did my interest and hope that this endless repartee between Lindsey and Frank would ever pick up in a climax that would make up for the snoozefest that this entire film generally was.
It would have been passable if the movie simply centered on Lindsey and Frank and their endless discussions about their bitter view on life. It would have been acceptable if the movie simply focused on these two characters as they skipped from scene to the scene waxing rhetoric about how miserable they were. What really sunk the movie for me was that the film started and ended with the same tone, seemingly cast underneath a dark cloud that never lifted, and pretty soon, it got so boring that it was a struggle to even make it to the next scene where the verbal sparring would begin again in a new setting. Don’t get me wrong. There are attempts to be funny and cute but they mostly fell flat because the jokes sucked.
Still, since the movie was basically setting up the central characters to fall in love, audiences would feel somewhat compelled to root for them to end up together, especially when Frank softens a bit before they finally part ways. Sadly, the characters’ laziness and lack of effort to change the vibe of their relationship gets too frustrating to hope for anything more. The musical scoring doesn’t help. It makes it seem like a corny old sitcom that implies something will happen, but it never really does.
All in all, Destination Wedding was a veritable snoozefest that wasted the chemistry that Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder could no doubt have created between themselves if they were given the right material. It was long, tedious, and overblown with self importance. It revolved around two unlikeable characters that viewers will find a challenge to connect to no matter how hard they try. Despite my best intentions, I couldn’t find it in my heart to recommend this to anyone, even the most hopeless of romantics.
PS. My advice, don’t be deceived by the poster. Keanu smiles for only one nanosecond throughout the entire film, and there’s no lingering romantic look shared over wine in this whole shebang.