Destination Wedding asks a simple question, “Are Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves charming and talented enough to pull off a movie all by themselves?” Answer: almost. The problem is that the script and the production as a whole don’t give them a lot to work with. Which is a shame because these two leads are very watchable, and even more watchable together.
Destination Wedding sets up two unlikable people and traps them at a wedding that they don’t want to be at, and that no one wants them at, so they are forced to spend time together. It is like a very long sitcom elevator episode except that the elevator moves around to different locations. Also, we aren’t really sure about anyone’s motivations for inviting these two because only Winona and Keanu have speaking roles. Well maybe technically a mountain lion speaks, but I am not sure roars and hisses count.
Speaking of the mountain lion, it is the only real thing that happens in this movie. Otherwise it is just Winona and Keanu trading barbs, and most of the time they are pretty good at it. The issue is that when you have to spend an hour and a half talking with only two people, that is a lot of dialog, and a lot of it doesn’t hold up. The leads do their best, but there is only so much they can do, and the only props they are given are wine and food, so they literally chew and drink the scenery.
Listen, putting Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder together is a brilliant move, and they are excellent at delivering witty banter and trading insults, but to have the whole movie just be two people talking to one another the script has to be perfect. Destination Wedding’s is not. Reeves and Ryder have their moments, almost enough of them to carry they movie, but the effort falls short in the end. Hopefully we get a more fleshed out movie with these two again soon because they are great. Destination Wedding, not so much.