Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Rachel's Hair On Rachel Getting Married Film

I adore Anne Hathaway and have been a huge fan since I saw her transform onscreen from Mia Thermopolis to Princess Mia in The Princess Diaries in 2001.

From there I watched her out of character role in Brokeback Mountain, which provided an inkling to the serious acting she was definitely capable of.

I thought she was amazing in The Devil Wore Prada and actually held her own against Meryl Streep, which is not an easy accomplishment.

(Image of Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married - 2008 Sony Pictures - All Rights Reserved).

Although Bride Wars was panned by critics and audiences, I rented it because she was in the movie and was not disappointed by her scenes.  I didn't really like Get Smart but thought she looked great and was the high point of that movie.

When she appeared in Rachel Getting Married I read many of the advance reviews and was prepared for a completely different performance.  I was again not disappointed.  In fact, if I had not already been such a huge Anne Hathaway fan, I might have viewed Rachel Getting Married (RGM) with completely different eyes.

My first reaction to Anne as Kym in RGM was chills and then just a hard core WOW.  I was pleased to see long time favs Debra Winger and Rosemarie DeWitt as Kym's mom (Debra) and the infamous Rachel (Rosemarie).   Even though I thought both were great in their role, Anne stole the film.  At least in my humble opinion.

Kym is a recovering drug addict who leaves rehab behind to attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel, but Kym's problems follow her home.

Her sister Rachel cannot easily forgive or forget Kym's many drug-fueled transgressions, and their father (Bill Irwin) dotes on his returned daughter. As the wedding grows closer, the spotlight shifts from Rachel to Kym, much to the bride's building anger and obvious annoyance.

(Image of Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married - 2008 Sony Pictures - All Rights Reserved).

In a lot of ways, the film felt more like a reality show than a movie but the way the film was shot, with a hand held camera, captured a feeling of authenticity.  The director, Jonathan Demme, has a prior history with documentaries which in some cases were very close to the reality shows that clog the networks today.

This film captures the raw yet human flaws of this group of people in this very dysfunctional family.  Even more fascinating is the way the individual members of the family and their friends play off each other to showcase the severely damaged Kym.

Her father hovers and enables which her sister Rachel alternates between palpable rage, disgust and sympathy.  Afterall, this addict is also her sister and afterall, family is family.  Right?

(Image of L-R Jerome Le Page, Debra Winger and Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married - After Kym had her hair highlighted with chunky blonde highlights - 2008 Sony Pictures - All Rights Reserved).

So many things about the film are hilarious in that uncomfortable way that odd humor feels.

Throughout most of the film I felt oddly embarrassed for Kym, sympathetic to Rachel, confused by the groom and intrigued by the wedding guests.  I saw the anger the newly dumped Maid of Honor felt when Kym demanded her spot in the wedding.  I also felt the bride and groom didn't seem to have chemistry, which was probably just me, but it was yet another reaction to this spectacular movie.

The scenes in the hair salon were very compelling to me because they rang so true.  I also found the hairstyles adopted by Kym, Rachel, their mother and the groom to be perfect expressions of their characters.

When Rachel first arrives home from rehab her hair looks unkempt and slightly frumpy.  As Kym integrates back into her odd band of family members, her discomfort with everything is expressed through her compulsive chain smoking, paranoia about her body and weight.

(Image LR: Anne Hathaway, Tunde Adebimpe, Rosemarie DeWitt and Matthew Zickel - 2008 Sony Pictures - All Rights Reserved).

She also frets about the overfeeding by her father and manages to act out by having sex with the best man (Matthew Zickel), she meets for the first time a few minutes before they do the deed.

Rachel's mental angst and struggles with her addictive personality is showcased by her hair which is highlighted with big bold chunky blonde stripes which transform her from a frumpy addict to a flamboyant party girl ready to grab as much of the spotlight as she can away from Rachel.

In a way her chunky blonde highlights, no in fashion for awhile now, act almost as implanted spotlights directing attention to Kym who appears to be competing with her sister from attention from the family and all the guests.

(Image LR: Anne Hathaway, Anna Deavere Smith  - 2008 Sony Pictures - All Rights Reserved).

Her true illness is also unveiled at the hair salon when she meets one of the hairdressers, who just happens to be fellow recovering addict who shares some of Kym's deep dark secrets from a Twelve Step exercise.  Kym's sister Rachel overhears the shared conversation and reacts with fury.

In fact, she storms out of the salon and leaves Kym stranded with her hair still wrapped in an array of brightly colored foils.  It was a visually compelling scene and Kym's hair was brilliantly utilized as yet another symbol of her internal angst.

Not only does Kym act inappropriately at the rehearsal dinner with her newly painted big bold highlights, she flees in a car and smashed into a tree.

At the wedding her bold blonde stripes are matched by excessive eye make-up designed to hide her new shiner from the accident.  Again, make-up is combined with the hair to set the stage for Kym's internal angst.

(Image LR: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt  - 2008 Sony Pictures - All Rights Reserved).

Although this film is hard to watch, Anne Hathaway deserved all the acting awards she won....and more.  She was brilliant.  So was the supporting cast as well as the hair, makeup and stylists.

In fact, this was a fabulous film on all levels, even though it could make many viewers feel uneasy and uncomfortable.  I highly recommend the film, especially if you are an Anne Hathaway addict.

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