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Film / Destination Wedding

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"But don't you believe there's someone for everyone?"
"Close. I believe that there's nobody for anyone."

Lindsay: So we're just the people you don't know where to stick?
Frank: Might as well just stick us together.

Destination Wedding is a 2018 Romantic Comedy starring only Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. It was written and directed by Victor Levin.

Frank (Reeves) and Lindsay (Ryder) are two socially maladjusted misanthropes who get off on the wrong foot at the airport. Shortly after, they realize that they're both reluctant attendees at the same destination wedding in San Luis Obispo, California. Mostly left to their own devices during the wedding activities, the cynical Frank (the groom's estranged half-brother) and the romantic Lindsay (the groom's ex-fiancee) find themselves gravitating towards each other.


  • Abusive Parents: Frank reveals early on that his father tried to murder him years prior. The way he talks about his mother implies she wasn't exactly the best parent either.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: One of the first turning points in the story is when Lindsay flips off Frank as she walks away from the table on their first night, to which he actually chuckles and even takes a second look in her direction.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Frank and Lindsay's conversations border on the metatextual as they cover and mock tropes that would be played straight in a more typical romantic comedy.
  • Bridal Carry: Lindsay nags Frank into carrying her through a vineyard through a wedding venue this way, since her heels won't make the trip.
  • Calling Your Orgasms: True to its parodic form, the movie has a rather strange one after Frank explains his mother's incredibly disturbing, weird "trick" for having a boy, which is calling out "oh boy!" during climax. Lindsay does, for some reason. What's more amusing, though, is once the sex starts to feel good, Lindsay alarms Frank by chanting "no" but it's actually only her aversion to the positive sensation.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Frank and Lindsay are understandable shocked and scared of the mountain lion, but not enough to stop bickering with each other over what kind of wild cat it is or what they should do to save themselves.
  • Casting Gag: Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder have been very close friends for decades and here play characters who can't stand one another, at least at first.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Frank's incredibly obnoxious throat-ear-clearing noises, of all things.
  • The Cynic: Frank, who is so determined to hang on to his cynical worldview — that life is meaningless and there's nobody for anybody — that he attempts to dodge all of Lindsay's attempts to connect with him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Frank and Lindsay, especially Frank who has a wit so caustic and sharp it's a miracle his words don't cut his mouth up as they leave.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Through their long conversations, Frank and Lindsay tear apart romance and the tropes that make up a romantic comedy. Yet, as they do, they become the protagonists in their own cynical, yet sincere, romantic comedy arc.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Frank's. His father left his mother and later shot him, said mother went on to marry another man and have Keith who Frank hates, the man later left her for an older woman. He even claims it a triumph of determination on his part that he is simply cynical and abrasive rather than being outright evil.
  • The Eeyore: Frank is about as cynical, unhappy and negative as you can get. He makes the actual Eeyore look like a bundle of joy by comparison.
  • Evil Matriarch: We're led to believe Frank's mother is pretty awful. The nicest thing he seems able to say about her is that is father was worse, having tried to outright murder Frank.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Frank is of the opinion that his attitude is justifiable because of his dysfunctional family, but Lindsay wonders if he should stop using that as an excuse.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Played for Laughs. Lindsay and Frank have sex on a hill after surviving an encounter with a mountain lion, but the act is forced and awkward.
  • Headdesk: Lindsay, after watching her obnoxious ex dip and kiss his new bride for an excessively long time on the dance floor.
    Frank: I can't help but hope Keith tears a hip muscle.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Frank protests, but he does in fact have a heart, proven when instead of running from the cougar, he manages to scare it off and save both himself and Lindsay.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Both Frank and Lindsay's, despite the sex scene being Played for Laughs instead of trying to be a hot and heavy scene like in your average rom-com.
  • Informed Attribute: Since only Frank and Lindsay have speaking lines, none of Frank and Lindsay's criticisms and complaints about the married couple and their associates are proven, with only implications towards them at most being shownnote . It's not outright stated how much is truth and how much is their resentment, misanthropy, and judgment.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Frank long seems to have put these on long ago and worn them for so long they're practically fused to his face by now. He's more than happy to color anyone else's the same shade as well.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Frank is about as mean and cynical as they come, but he does point out the ridiculousness of the destination wedding, the pointless nature of privileged people who are in no immediate danger getting to complain about their problems, and the hypocrisy of dating and existence in general. It's both frighteningly nihilistic and yet accurate. And while he uses it as an excuse for his misanthropic personality, he is correct that he came from a lousy background so his attitude is at least somewhat understandable and he also points out that he could've turned out a lot worse than simply being someone who is just bitter and acerbic.
  • Maybe Ever After: The film ends with Frank showing up at Lindsay's doorstep as she smiles at him and gestures for him to come inside.
  • May–December Romance: Inverted. It's mentioned that Frank's mother's partner left her for an older woman. Lindsay is even more outraged about this, noting that if he'd left her for a younger woman, Frank's mother could at least be angry at a sexist society and says that leaving for a younger woman is the least he could have done.
  • Minimalist Cast: Frank and Lindsay are the only characters who have speaking lines.
  • Offing the Offspring: Frank's father once tried to murder him but failed.
  • The Oner: Some of the conversations of Frank and Lindsay are done in single takes, with the camera either holding still or very slowly moving in closer.
  • Plane Awful Flight: After bitter, judgmental Lindsay and Frank snipe at each other while boarding, they find out that they're next to each other in the back of the extremely tiny airplane which ricochets with every turbulence. Naturally, this doesn't help their dislike of each other.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: You have to pay close attention to enjoy the pure nuggets of vitriolic gold between Frank and Lindsay. Both are razor-witted and they don't pause very often.
  • Running Gag: Lindsay's inability to open food packaging bugs Frank several points throughout the film.
  • Rule of Funny: The fact that the cougar allows the two of them to debate with each other over what kind of animal it is before attempting to menace towards them.
  • Scenery Porn: Even though the two of them are completely miserable, their surroundings are actually quite lovely.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Defied. Frank had the opportunity to do this when his father tried to kill him but chose not to, not out of mercy but simply to not mess up his own life.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Frank and Lindsay. Pretty much every conversation with them is just one barbed comment after another with a tone so acidic it threatens to leave scars.
  • Stealth Parody: It's quite obvious the film is making fun of stereotypical romantic-comedies, but the way the story and plot are formed adhere to the usual arc of a romantic comedy: character introductions, characters hate each other, characters have a bonding moment, characters hook up, characters break up, and then characters reconsider and reunite.
  • Title Card: Each act or plot point in the wedding has a sarcastic title card to accompany it.
  • Take That!: The entire film is basically one wonderful middle finger to almost all the common stereotypes associated with a romantic-comedy. It breaks down the overused elements and does an excellent criticism of why they don't work, along with adding a dose of reality to how certain people can become deeply jaded as they reach middleage.
  • Wham Line: While discussing Frank and his relationship with his mother and biological father, we get two bombs dropped:
    Lindsay: But your father and mother eventually made peace with each other, right?
    Frank: Yup. Dad jumped out of a seventh floor window and Mom considered them all square.
    Lindsay: (clearly shocked) I'm sorry?!
    Frank: Don't be. I was not a fan.
    Lindsay: Uh, you're not a fan of many people, is my sense.
    Frank: Well, this person shot me, so...