Review

 

Barbra's Wedding

Daniel Stern has fashioned a lightweight domestic romp that proves to be an amiable if not overly involving vehicle for the considerable sitcom talents of Stern and Crystal Bernard ("Wings"). Played out on Keith E. Mitchell's immaculate Malibu-home stage, the conjugal tribulations of Jerry and Molly are well paced by helmer Casey Stangl, who never allows the duo's energetic machinations to outdistance the one-act legit's flimsy premise.

Crystal Bernard photo

From: Daily Variety 9/27/2005
By: Julio Martinez

"Barbra's Wedding" purports to answer this question: What were the next-door neighbors doing on July 1, 1998, the day of the Streisand-Brolin nuptials at the bride's Malibu estate?

Gazing longingly out his window at the parade of celebs entering the Streisand compound, Jerry is a ragingly insecure out-of-work actor whose long-running sitcom provided the funds for his modest abode. Stern utilizes the media frenzy of the Streisand event to dissect the fragile stability of this marriage, but he doesn't provide enough plot material to elevate the work much beyond a typical "Everybody Love Raymond" episode.

Career-starved Jerry grows increasingly emotionally frenzied as the day progresses, eventually descending into maniacal self-delusion. He is counterbalanced by Bernard's deceptively low-key Molly, whose main objectives for the day are to stay busy and to keep her hubby from making a complete fool of himself.

Almost making up for the lack of substance is the wonderfully wacky rapport established between Stern and Bernard, who plays Molly to the no-nonsense, sarcastic hilt. Stern's physical and vocal malleability finds myriad outlets for Jerry's reactions to the unseen action outside his window. He is equally adroit in his confrontations with Molly.

Bernard's Molly simply burrows into Jerry, never allowing any of Stern's zany zingers to go astray. She deals with his reactions to the doings outside their home as a patient adult deals with an out-of-control child. Bernard is particularly adroit at underscoring Molly's concerns whenever Jerry's blabberings focus on the stability of their marriage.

When Molly eventually does lose her emotional cool, she is a comic delight, actually managing to outfrenzy the dumbfounded Jerry.

 
 
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