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Film / Polish Wedding

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The apple doesn't fall far.

"Marrying my husband was no mistake. I had my reason, only I can't remember what it is."
Jadzia Pzoniak

Polish Wedding is a 1998 comedy-drama film written and directed by Theresa Connelly, starring Lena Olin, Gabriel Byrne, and Claire Danes.

The film revolves around a Polish-American family in the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck, Michigan. Jadzia Pzoniak (Olin) is the matriarch of the family, who married Bolek (Byrne) while she was pregnant. They have five kids: sons Ziggy (who's recently married and a new father to a baby boy who is almost inconsolable), Witek, Koz, and Kris, and daughter Hala (Danes), who is rebellious and habitually flirts and has sex with men. When Russell (Adam Trese), a cop, gets Hala pregnant, Jadzia and the rest of the family pressure him to marry her.


This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Time Period: Given that there are multiple cars from the 1970s and 1980s, it's possible that the movie takes place between those decades.
  • Anachronism Stew: The movie is set in the 1970s but there are cars in the background that didn't exist until the 1980s.
  • The Baby Trap: This was the case with Jadzia, Sofia, and with Hala.
  • Babies Ever After: Hala gives birth to a baby girl towards the final scene.
  • Berserk Button: Sofia is irritated when Jadzia calls her "Gypsy" and reminds her repeatedly that she's Syrian.
  • Dysfunctional Family
  • Everybody Smokes: Hala and youngest son Kris, Bolek even smokes at the breakfast table in front of his new grandson.
  • Generation Xerox: Hala inherits Jadzia's free-spirited and sexual nature, resulting in her pregnancy.
  • I Want Grandkids: Jadzia proclaims this despite already having a brand new grandson.
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  • Massive Numbered Siblings: There are five kids: four sons and one daughter.
  • Roman à Clef: Writer and director Teresa Connelly claims that the film is semi-autobiographical and the movie's 1970s suburban Detroit setting as well as the Pzoniak family were loosely inspired by her childhood.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Russell and Hala make love, the camera pans to the traffic lights.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Jadzia eloped to Bolek while she was pregnant with Ziggy, Ziggy got married to Sofia when she was pregnant with their child and Hala does the same when she gets pregnant by Russell.
  • Teenage Pregnancy: Hala, who is a high school dropout, becomes pregnant.