I caught Betsy's Wedding on DVD Tuesday night with two friends, Captain Kate of the 5th Armed Bucket Brigade and Captain Kate's Fiancee. (I don't have a cool pseudonym for him yet though I undoubtedly will be given one by the Captain once she reads this.)
Alan Alda wrote, directed and starred in this film. It also features Joey Bishop, Madeline Kahn, a young Anthony LaPaglia, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Pesci, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Burt Young, and a young but unchanged Dylan Walsh (of Nip/Tuck repute).
Not-quite-brief IMDB Plot Summary:
Offbeat fashion student Betsy Hopper [Ringwald] and her straight-laced investment-banker fiancé, Jake [Walsh], just want an intimate little wedding reception, but Betsy's father, Eddie [Alda], a Long Island construction contractor, feels so threatened by Jake's rich WASP parents that he blows the ceremony up into a bank-breaking showpiece, sending his wife, Lola [Kahn], into a financial panic. Pressure from Betsy's extended family to include their joint Jewish and Italian-Catholic heritage in the ceremony doesn't do much to assuage the title character's worries, nor does the lovelorn bitterness of her older sister, Connie [Sheedy], who's single, her parents assume, because she has the audacity to pursue the unfeminine profession of police officer. With all of his funds tied up into the money pit of a house he's building, Betsy's dad has to turn to his crooked brother-in-law, Oscar [Pesci], for financial assistance, and soon a soft-spoken but menacing young mobster named Stevie Dee [LaPaglia] is supervising Eddie's construction project and casting his romantic aspirations toward the clueless Connie.Yes, the plot outline does sound like a lot but it's pretty easy to follow and no small amount of fun, too. This is a nice, light comedy. It's not heavy at all and is moderately predictable though not overly so. The plot isn't very thick though the story is involving. Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable movie though certainly not one of my absolute favorites, must-see's or top-ten's. Really not much more for me to say other than I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see so many excellent actors and actresses involved in a fine movie. Makes me wish Alan Alda (who has an excellent first name, by the way) had written more movies. T'would have been cool.
Also, quick shout-out to Stevie Dee. Captain Kate was swooning as we watched the film and I couldn't rightly blame her. Stevie Dee's lines are sincerely perfect and very sweet. I searched high and low for some movie quotes (to illustrate this point in particular and the film in general) but couldn't find any decent ones. Maybe someday I'll watch the film again and jot down the quotes myself.
ALAN'S MOVIE RATING: Rental-Worthy