by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Margot (Nicole Kidman) attends the wedding of her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh). They bicker.

That's pretty much it. That's the movie.

Run end credits.

What can I tell you? Women are easily amused.

Margot writes short stories for a magazine a lot like The New Yorker. She irritates her family and friends because she weaves her plots from incidents in their lives, more often than not portraying them negatively. We all know someone like Margot. She is self-centered, self-righteous, and insists that she knows how everyone else should live their lives, even though her own life is in miserable disarray and every bit of advice she offers is so grievously wrong as to be downright dangerous to anyone foolish enough to pay attention to her. Fortunately for those on the receiving side of her admonitions, she is so utterly lacking in charm and sanity that everyone tunes her out. Even so, she can still hurt people by betraying secrets and confidences. Her sister Pauline is more likeable than Margot, but only in the same sense that Rosie O'Donnell is more likeable than Stalin. Pauline is fortunate enough that her main curse is neurotic insecurity rather than psychotic malice. The two sisters quarrel about everything possible, often in front of their children, thus assuring that their proud family heritage of dysfunction will be passed to another generation. For the first ten minutes of the film I was wondering why Margot was calling her teenage daughter Claude. I thought maybe it was short for Claudine or Claudette. Then I heard her refer to Claude as "he" and I finally got the point. I began to get a bit too much of the point later on when I saw that Margot's relationship with the boy was implicitly incestuous, albeit not expressed in overt sexual terms. They kiss on the lips, they sleep together ... even though the boy is old enough to masturbate. Margot's son is so shy and sensitive and feminine that we cringe when we find that he'll have to go to public school, knowing he will never make it until noon with any lunch money.

Since the film has no point that I can see, I suppose it is an autobiographical character study and the script writer is doing exactly what his character Margot was accused of: airing out his family's laundry on a convenient literary clothesline. Why not? It's probably good therapy for him, and I guess there is room in the film world for stories about neurotic Northeastern literati and their assorted foibles. Lord knows Woody Allen has created a lot of films from similar clay. But there are two big differences between this film and Woody's: (1) Woody's films always include characters with a sense of humor; (2) Woody's best plots incorporate some interesting situations. Because of those two characteristics, Woody's films are (sometimes) interesting to those outside the club. In contrast, Margot at the Wedding is just filled with humorless bores and wimps, so the only possible audience consists of other boring, humorless Northeasterners with friends and family among the arty set. Anyone not among that group will wonder why the film was made in the first place.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Solid movie, but with narrow appeal.



* features unavailable







2 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
3 Roger Ebert (of 4 stars)
53 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
66 (of 100)




6.7 IMDB summary (of 10)
C+ Yahoo Movies




Box Office Mojo. It grossed $1.9 million in the USA, despite never having reached more than 121 theaters.



  • Jack Black shows his bum. There's a real treat.
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh shows her breasts. They look great and so does she. She's 46, but could pass for ten years younger. Samples below.
  • Nicole Kidman shows nothing except part of her bum in a bathing suit, but she has a scene in which she masturbates on camera, albeit while wearing a nightie.