Wedding Gift, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

Gael Waiters gives an outstanding performance as Diana Longden, a London housewife who contracts a mysterious disease. The disease, now known as chronic fatigue syndrome, leaves Diana with hardly enough energy to stand up, let alone walk. Her extremities are so brittle that her fingers break with the slightest disturbance and her hands are turned inward. Diana and her long-suffering husband Deric (Jim Broadbent) go from doctor to doctor without any help. Their deep sense of the terrible irony and even comic nature of their situation where the doctors know less than they do about the disease keep them going. The British stiff upper lip never allows Deric to give up. When they discover their son is getting married, Diana resolves to walk up the aisle on her own power as the mother of the groom. Diana also bravely lets a romantic relationship between Deric and a woman novelist grow, knowing that she will die soon. THE WEDDING GIFT uses its comic surface to gently explore the terrible pain involved in the true story of the Longdens.

Some obscenities and profanities are the major offensive elements in THE WEDDING GIFT. There is no violence or sexual situations and only one brief scene of breast nudity as Diana is pulled unconscious from the bathtub. The loving family relationships shown between husband and wife and the parents and children are commendable. Even the fact that Deric refuses to pursue a physical relationship with the novelist shows an unusual level of commitment to marriage seldom seen on T.V. or in films today. One disturbing element, however, is the portrayal of suicide as acceptable in cases like Diana's. Diana's hopelessness after she discovers that the doctors cannot help her runs directly contrary to the Christian faith, both for healing in this life and expectation of the next. It seems to deny the possibility that God could be in control, even in this painful situation.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild 6; Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (5) times (f-word 2; s-word 1; others 2)

Profanity: Many (11) times - Regular 6 (J, G); Exclamatory 5

Violence: One suicide by drowning

Sex: None

Nudity: Once, breast nudity in near drowning

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (veiled references to exhibitionism)

Drugs: None

Other: Suicide portrayed as acceptable and noble; strong commitment to marriage; selfless devotion between husband and wife

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adult

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.