Margot at the Wedding (C). You’d think that a movie starring the radiant Nicole Kidman (The Human Stain) and the incredible Jack Black (whom I once recognized as the comedic genius of our time) would be totally awesome. Not so much, at least to me. Director Noah Baumbach made a bit of a splash with his last feature, The Squid and the Whale, which I did not see, but I wasn’t going to miss this one. Kidman plays Margot, a successful writer of short stories, who is dragging her young-adolescent son Claude to her sister Pauline’s wedding. Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Spectacular Now) is marrying Malcolm, who, since he is played by Jack Black (Gulliver’s Travels), is by definition a somewhat buffoonish character. It quickly becomes clear that Margot is a terror. She excels at verbally hitting people where it hurts, and we are not surprised to hear that she caused the end of Pauline’s first marriage by strip-mining family woes for her fiction. The movie has some funny moments amid the tension and hostility, and the dialogue is generally good and believable. But it doesn’t really add up to anything much that I could see.
Nicole’s Margot is up a tree without a paddle