10th Dec2020

‘Sister of the Groom’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Jake Hoffman, Mathilde Ollivier | Written and Directed by Amy Miller Gross

Changing lanes for a minute in my viewing pleasure, I decided to sit down and a watch a rom-com with my wife and it has to be said – with none other than Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott starring – it felt like my 90s nostalgia none was going to be tickled. We were also optimistic that with the title of Sister of the Groom we may get some Father of the Bride vibes… We did not! Though thankfully Tom Everett Scott did enough in the first 10 minutes of this film to kept me watching to the end.

I do find myself wondering how I actually feel about the film though – its very much a middle-of-the-road rom-com, with Alicia Silverstone doing her best Drew Barrymore homage in Sister of the Groom, aka The Pleasure of Your Presence.

Audrey (Silverstone) is a struggling architect/housewife approaching 40 and wondering where her best years went. She and her husband Ethan (Everett Scott) are heading to the wedding of her younger brother Liam (Hoffman). Audrey is not ready to let her little brother go and even more so she doesn’t want to lose him to a self centered controlling perfect French Beauty. This is a comedy of sorts so cue all the usual wedding comedy shenanigans you have come to expect and a few more.

I had a good enough time with Sister of the Groom, mainly as it was a nice change of pace to the other stuff I have been watching lately; and honesty It was was nice to see the one true Batgirl on screen again. The same can be said of Tom Everett Scott, who I have always been a bit of a fan of since the days of Dead Man on Campus and That Thing you Do. Up and comer Jake Hoffman (yes the son of Dustin) is really doing his dad proud here and putting in a performance that’s a notch above what this movie needed.

If I’m going to lay it out there I would say that everyone  puts in great performances, in a film that moves along at a steady pace and every now and then throws in some dramatic hilarity. I would say my only real gripe was that Mathilde Ollivier (remember her in Overlord? Great movie) did such a great job of making you loathe her that, when you get to the inevitable making friends section of the flick, I struggled to reconcile.

Writer/Director Amy Miller Gross has done a great job here and created a relatable story with all of her cast doing the script justice. It does also kind of feel like Siverstone’s project too and this shows in her performance. One thing I appreciated about Sister of the Groom was that once we passed the wedding ceremony, the movie kind of turned into a Godfather style 3rd act, as in we spend a ton more time at the ceremony than is reasonably acceptable (if you get my drift). Hold on just I minute put your tweets away I didn’t say same level as those movies just that it was Godfather-esque…

There are way worse ways to spend a night in with your missus and a movie, this one did what it set out to do in fine fashion. Sister of the Groom won’t change your world or make your “Top 5 Rom-Coms” list but it’s acceptable.

*** 3/5

Sister of the Groom is released in the US on December 18th; a UK release follows on December 21st 2020.


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