The Young Wife

The Young Wife
The Young Wife
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Already married? How would you describe your wedding weekend? Nice? Chaotic? Tense? All of the above? And if you have yet to say “I do”, maybe there is a certain idea of who may come. In-laws. Parents. Childhood friends. Colleagues. Neighbors. Exes, even? The list is endless here. Would everyone get along in one setting for an afternoon with different pasts and emotions of various kinds. Cramped quarters, dodging between each other, trying time and again – and again to get that same person’s attention? If reading these words raised your blood pressure a little bit, then The Young Wife will certainly have some effects on you too, it does for me.

Sure enough, families are complicated entities as well as biological ones.

“This could be the worst mistake I ever made,” states writer-director Tayarisha Poe in her new film The Young Wife — perhaps aptly titled to evoke a feeling of ‘hmmm, is she actually ready for this?’ — where chaos finds its way into the life of its main character through her knowingly loudmouthed girlfriends who all converge together at once during her “wedding party” (it’s not really a formal ceremony), while other inner conflicts play out: work, money, true love, happiness pursuit. What one gets in the end is an enriching and enlightening experience that surprises with its artfulness and evokes memories of some famous wedding flicks . A good thing really.

What if you tied the knot right after resigning from your high paying job for only one day only?? But what if instead you resigned from your job a day before the wedding??? Hmmmm… It seems like some of us have become addicts to chaos thrills maybe??

Because we need to feel alive even though our lives can spin out of control sometimes! Our protagonist is millennial Celestina played by Kiersey Clemons (Dope, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters) who does it perfectly.

Her gang of intruding friends comprises life-long friend Brianna (the very good A. Jae Michele) who is frank with Celestina about their professional lives and more. Then there are the stranger friends like Geoffrey (Connor Paolo of The Last Stop in Yuma County star) and Tessa (Kelly Marie Tran from Star Wars). Michaela Watkins is always a pleasure to see too. Only much later do we encounter her charming husband-to-be River, played by the sadly underutilized real-life musician Leon Bridges; instead the movie starts with a truly electrifying introduction to the main characters with flashy, artsy titles as if we are watching an opening-credits fashion show for which people like Lars Von Trier would be very proud.

In an interview with director Poe we had recently, she discussed how Melancholia by Von Trier influenced her acclaimed film The Young Wife, and some other classics might come to mind besides the work of the aforementioned Safdie brothers (Uncut Gems, Good Time). Rachel Getting Married is another great example because it shows us just how crazy are Celestina’s friends when they talk about marriage during a beautiful wedding ceremony. Also Kesha could be considered as an independent panic attack masked as a family gathering movie.

Moreover, even if Celestina were to take a momentary respite from bickering, there would still be fun — biological fam. Yes, Celestina will also warm up for some funny moments with her mother-in-law Cookie (a reliably droll Judith Light), but then – the real mom of our protagonist interpreted by none other than recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary).

Alternatively, this is not simply shouting over each other between young wife and mother: there are unspoken but poignant scenes devoid of indoor disorder that speak volumes more. Featuring seasoned all-stars like Light and Ralph standing out among millennial performers strengthens Roe’s capability as a filmmaker to shoot across different age and cultural groups.

However, it takes us back into the marriage mayhem where Celestina continues to rant at Brianna about life ,the well-paying job he just quit— but hasn’t told River yet,, huh-uh-, why any of it doesn’t matter since everybody shall die one day among others. Probably those little statements about saving money only for “mediocre vacations that you spend checking email” will really cut deep inside you.The piece cuts through Clemons’ dissatisfaction with the current generation.

Still on employment matters, very humorous mini-flashbacks in The Young Wife depict how she throws coffee angrily at Dave while resigning from her workplace completely on rage grounds[IT1] [KD2]. As a matter of fact, even without invitation that is where Dave appears on the wedding day to make Celestina even more jittery than she was before.

There are however snarky meditative moments played on retro TVs across the wedding venue, and other stylistic memorables (that might turn away some viewers). It’s an indie drama with a great sense of humor, natural dialogue, deep messages and unforgettable performances. This is a must-see for millennials who find themselves at a crossroads in life.

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