• Publication date: March 15, 2011

Meet the definition of a dysfunctional family Margot at the Wedding: An eternal sibling rivalry

Margot and Pauline are two estranged sisters who attempt to bury the hatchet over one weekend. Pauline is a schoolteacher set to marry her bohemian boyfriend, Malcolm. The family is unsure why Pauline is attracted to the chubby, unemployed man, but nevertheless agrees to attend the wedding and show their support � no matter how insincere.

Margot and Pauline are two estranged sisters who attempt to bury the hatchet over one weekend. Pauline is a schoolteacher set to marry her bohemian boyfriend, Malcolm. The family is unsure why Pauline is attracted to the chubby, unemployed man, but nevertheless agrees to attend the wedding and show their support � no matter how insincere.

Initially it is unclear why the two sisters dislike each other so fervently. Yet as the film progresses one realizes that both are equally dysfunctional, and this by itself fuels their rivalry. Pauline and Margot futilely attempt to outshine the other, hiding behind fa�ades such as a successful career, an intelligent son or daughter, or a seemingly happy marriage.

In reality nothing for either of the women is picturesque for Margot she appears to be a successful writer living with her similarly industrious husband, Jim and their 11-year-old son Claude. Outwardly their marriage appears perfect, yet tension is building internally. Margot has asked Jim to stay behind in New York City, partly because she is sick of him, but mostly so she can rendezvous with Dick, a colleague and former boyfriend.

In light of the above, Margot�s qualms with Malcolm and Pauline�s upcoming marriage are hypocritical. Despite her infidelity and hatred of Jim, Margot somehow believes that she is superior to her sister, when in fact the opposite may be true. Although Malcolm may not be successful or overly attractive, that does not negate the possibility of a successful marriage to Pauline. Still, Margot attempts to discredit her sister, specifically when she discovers Pauline is already pregnant with Malcolm�s baby. Not only is the bride to be making an unwise decision in Margot�s eyes, but she is also a whore. Of course, Margot does not see herself in the same light � despite her intent to hookup with Dick that same weekend.

Perhaps there is a feeling of resentment on Pauline�s part as well, since she has continued living in her parents� home long after Margot migrated to New York. In contrast, this provides Margot with additional ammunition in the sisters� egotistical battle. Still Pauline can tout her practical and stable vocation in education; at the same time Margot can react to her sister�s profession with contempt � after all, being a creative writer in the big city is more glamorous.

This sibling rivalry makes the meat of the picture, though other entertaining distractions do exist. One of those include the family�s angry neighbors, who demand that Pauline cut down a tree that is supposedly on their property line. Whether or not she plans to grant this request is unclear, especially since it will be an important prop during the wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, Malcolm finds himself strangely enchanted by his soon to be stepdaughter�s babysitter.

While Margot at the Wedding was not a blockbuster, it did win the attention of a few notable critics. At least 3 prominent reviewers across the United States declared it among their top 10 best movies of 2007. The picture�s soundtrack features familiar names such as the Steve Miller Band, Blondie, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac and many more.

Year: 2007

Duration: 93 minutes

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Starring:

Nicole Kidman

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jack Black

Director: Noah Baumbach

Rating: Rated R for sexual content and explicit language.