From a bolt of ordinary cloth Alan Alda fashions a thoroughly engaging matrimonial romp in Betsy’s Wed ding. Most of the action comes from the clash of personalities and wills as unconventional daughter Betsy (Molly Ringwald) announces her plans to wed boyfriend Jake (Dylan Walsh), and everyone jumps into the act.
Overreaching dad (Alda) wants a big, wonderful Italian Jewish wedding, and plans accelerate into a one-upmanship contest when Jake’s wealthy WASP parents try to take the reins. To finance the bash, Alda, a contractor, unwittingly throws in with some funny-money Italian business partners, as arranged by his double-dealing brother-in-law (Joe Pesci).
Setting a buoyant, anything-could-happen tone from the outset, Alda as director creates what he’s striving for: a feeling of being caught up in the warm craziness of this family, as all its vivid characters push and tug to impose their will on the proceedings. His punchy, inpertinent script is equally good.