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The Groomsmen

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
The Groomsmen
from Film Forum, 07/27/06

Director Edward Burns made a splash with his comedy The Brothers McMullen several years ago, drawing audiences into a convincing depiction of life in an Irish-Catholic community in Long Island.

Now, several films later, he's doing it again with The Groomsmen, a story about a group of fellows trying to encourage a troubled groom about the responsibilities that come with his pending marriage to his pregnant bride (Brittany Murphy). Each of the groomsmen is in turn wrestling with different struggles in relationships and employment, and when a friend (John Leguizamo) returns from being missing in action for several years, he brings a secret that thickens the plot considerably.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it "an intermittently engaging drama that could have been called The Slightly Older Brothers McMullen. … Burns does a good job at eliciting fine performances and creating believable bonds between the friends, and the movie—with its shades of Barry Levinson's Diner—has moments of honest emotion. But the talky script lacks focus and much of the banter is banal."

Mainstream critics are divided as to whether this return to McMullen territory works.