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In 1950s Massachusetts, a wealthy black woman engaged to a poor white beatnik learns about her family history. The stories revolve around the racial and class complexities of interracial and class-based marriages.

Director:

Charles Burnett

Writers:

Dorothy West (novel), Lisa Jones (teleplay)
Reviews
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Halle Berry ... Shelby Coles
Eric Thal ... Meade Howell
Lynn Whitfield ... Corinne Coles
Carl Lumbly ... Lute McNeil
Michael Warren ... Clark Coles
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Ellen Coles
Cynda Williams ... Liz Odis
Charlayne Woodard
Richard Brooks ... Lincoln Odis
Gabriel Casseus ... Hannibal
Shirley Knight ... Gram (Miss Caroline)
Ethel Ayler ... Eunice
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Preacher
Peter Francis James ... Isaac Coles
Carl Gordon ... Mr. Hawkins
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Storyline

Shelby Coles is engaged to marry talented white jazz musician Meade Howell, but the pair face opposition from both Meade's family, who object to an inter-racial marriage, and Shelby's parents, who want her to marry a professional. As Shelby is afflicted by premarital doubts, handsome Lute McNeil arrives on the scene, determined to make Shelby his at any cost.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men. Two different worlds. One final decision. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding See more »

Filming Locations:

Southport, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Tina McNeil: I think Daddy wants you to be our new mommy. Will you, Shelby?
See more »

Connections

References Late Spring (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Perfect Halle Berry in a flawed production
11 August 2002 | by Pro JurySee all my reviews

Many wonderful minutes of beautiful Halle Berry in tight mauve or peach pants and white tops. Warm, charming, and a joy to see.

THE WEDDING explores the times and trials of a clan of some of the more elite upper-class African Americans living in the eastern USA in the early 1950's. There are more family conflicts than a viewer can shake a stick at. however, the pacing is slow and the background music reeks of pure "Made-for-TV" sad to say.

More troubling, the production is rife with needless and unexplained flaws. One is that all through the movie it is repeatedly well established that a lighter skin complexion is very highly desired and negro features are less revered. When one daughter marries a darker black man, although he is a medical doctor and a good man, many in daughter's family reject the husband-to-be only because of skin complexion. OK, fine.

But there is logical difficulty because a "very handsome" black man, apparently single and available, moves in next door to the wedding house. The same family and neighborhood elders who uniformly scorn the black doctor are seen admiring the new neighbor. The unexplained problem is that the new neighbor is by far the darkest skinned man with the most negro features in the whole cast. The fact that this man is darker and more African looking than others is completely ignored throughout the script as if the director mis-cast the part of the neighbor and hoped viewers would be too dumb to notice.

Another sign of a weak script is found in the scene where the white fiance announces bad news about his parents expected arrival for the wedding. The scene was simply unrealistic. In real life, mature adults have an idea about how to break bad news with SOME tact. What was said and the way it was said was overly and needlessly blunt, awkward and ill-timed.

Ending at the beginning, watching Halle Berry was the best part of the movie for me.


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