In Betsy’s Wedding, Eddie Hopper (Alan Alda) shows off and gives daughter Betsy (Molly Ringwald) a fabulous formal wedding. What happens next is every bride’s nightmare.
This is not a new idea. It was done before (and better) in the Spencer Tracy/Elizabeth Taylor classic, Father of The Bride, from which writer-director-star Alda steals whole scenes shamelessly.
But the idea still works and by the time the big evening arrives, the Jewish side of the family screams, “it’s escalating – like the arms race!” while the Italian side of the family is up to their ears in debt and the mob.
Mother Lola (hilarious Madeline Kahn) wants a rabbi, Pop wants a priest, Betsy’s parents are losing their house, her older sister Connie (Ally Sheedy) is in love with a gangster, the wedding lands on the rainiest day of the year and the tent leaks!
It’s silly, but never dull, and the ethnic differences make for a lot of humour about religion.
Alda’s script is crisp, his pacing lively, and the actors all play it for real instead of for guffaws, which makes everything twice as amusing.