Released on Netflix earlier this year, Jenny’s Wedding is somewhat of an enigma. The film, which was originally independently produced, and then featured as part of an Indigogo campaign for post-production costs, stars Katherine Heigl, Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond, Grace Gummer, and Alexis Bledel as a group of family and friends learning to cope with a daughter coming out as gay and announcing her impending marriage. While the cast is well-known and more than competent in their art, the movie itself is puzzling in its attempt to tell a story of growth, resistance, and eventual acceptance, while never seeming to actually embrace the people around which the story revolves.
I should start by saying that I am always skeptical of “coming out” pieces – whether it’s a play, a TV episode plot, a movie, etc. The arc itself is inherently tricky because of the sensitivity of the coming out trope, and it is easy for writers to fall into the trap of making that coming out process overly dramatic. That isn’t to say that coming out isn’t rightfully dramatic for those who do go through that process, but is merely to suggest that is doesn’t always need to be a thing of tragedy.