It’s astonishing how little it takes to make a good romantic comedy – a solid script with enough quirk, a couple of actors at the top of their game, a compassionate outlook towards life, and maybe a mountain lion – and yet, some genre forays get it invariably wrong. Thankfully, that is not the case with Victor Levin’s indie venture ‘Destination Wedding.’ Strangers Frank and Lindsay meet at the airport, and they are seemingly off to a bad start. Then, they get to know that they are attending the same wedding, that of Frank’s half-brother and Lindsay’s ex-fiancé Keith.
The revelation does not make the situation more manageable for the two, and the conversation flows between them like a car with no brakes. Accidents are bound to happen in such situations, but not all accidents are injurious; in Frank and Lindsay’s case, it ushers in new promises for the outsiders and makes them belong. Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder shine in this goofball romantic comedy, reinstating their on-screen relationship from ‘Dracula,’ ‘A Scanner Darkly,’ and ‘The Private Lives of Pippa.’
Almost always, the camera meditates on the two and lets them do their seamless act. The result is a sarcastic, cynical, hilarious, and facepalming tale of romance between two broken people. Notwithstanding Frank’s relentless egotistical bantering, the movie ends on quite a positive note and leaves the audience with a lingering satisfaction. If you find the climax hard to follow, let us take you back to the whimsical ending at the exotic wedding destination. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Destination Wedding Plot Synopsis
Two strangers meet at the airport, and the man strikes up small talk with a woman. As he abruptly moves past her, she is offended, and they engage in seeming swordplay. However, they do not yet know that they would board the same eight-seater paleolithic charter flight to San Luis Obispo because what are the chances? The woman is shocked to see the same rude charmer on the flight, and the guy resonates with her sentiments. From their ongoing conversation, we come to know that Frank and Lindsay (we now know their names) are attending the same “destination wedding” of Keith and Anne.
Frank is the scornful younger brother of Keith who is attending the wedding for the sake of keeping face in the family, while Lindsay is the unfortunate ex-fiancé of Keith, trying to be the bigger person. Frank works at a company that awards cars, while Lindsay works as a prosecutor of companies for culturally inappropriate and insensitive speech. They are apparently no match for each other. Upon arriving, they find that Keith has arranged the same transport for them and neighboring rooms in the same resort. The duo also realizes that they are clubbed together not because Keith is trying to set them up but because they are both misfits.
At the dummy dinner, Frank divulges some drastic incidents from his past (like his father shooting him), and Lindsay is genuinely worried. The air of awkwardness does not get lifted, although the two have a pretty good time ticking off the activities in the Welcome Basket. After a roaring face-off with a mountain lion (or a puma), the two engage in a hilarious lovemaking session. The sex does not alter Frank’s cynicism, but Lindsay still has hope. The two decide not to meet following the wedding, but Lindsay’s subtle suggestion reverses the course of this affair.
Destination Wedding Ending: Do Lindsay and Frank End Up Together?
Well, this is the question that keeps the audience engaged and guides them to the movie’s climax. Following the awkward liaison with the mountain lion as a witness, the duo has a momentary revelation. Lindsay thinks it’s a miracle that they have met, but Frank is too much of a pessimist. Frank’s anti-romantic stance does not change following the encounter, and the two are in for some more endearingly awkward moments. Nonetheless, they attend the wedding party, only to excuse themselves to the airport 15 minutes away from the venue, although it’s a good five hours before the flight departs.
On the flight, Lindsay attempts to make Frank believe that maybe they have fallen in love with each other, while Frank struggles with a complimentary bottle of seemingly cheap wine. Lindsay gets drunk while Frank manages to get his trousers dirty. However, Lindsay is unable to break the hardened shell of Frank, and they decide not to meet following the liaison. Therefore, neither of them sees any point in exchanging numbers. At the same time, Lindsay believes that there is someone for everyone, while Frank believes that there is nobody for anyone.
However, destiny probably has better plans for them since Lindsay does not rely exclusively on fate. She takes the matter into her own hands by expressively stating her address to the cab driver. While Frank thinks that Lindsay should not say the exact address to the cab driver, Lindsay is stating the address to Frank. After departing from Lindsay, Frank comes back to his solitary home.
As Frank unpacks the bag, souvenirs from the trip haunt him and presumably reminds him of Lindsay. Therefore, the final scene sees Frank at the doorstep of Lindsay at 14 Catalina Drive, Newport Beach. Although he is too much of a cynic to express his love in words (he would rather deny its existence), Frank has seemingly developed feelings for Lindsay by this time. With the final twist of fate, it would be safe to conclude that Lindsay and Frank end up together.
Why Is Frank So Cynical?
Lindsay is a tree-whisperer, which is weird enough, but wait till you see Frank clearing his “raw” throat. Frank comes off as odd by conventional standards, although he would apparently be unmoved by this analysis. One may be curious about the reasons behind the development of Frank’s current cynical personality. Although a cynic, a narcissist, and a selfish person, Frank has a heart made of gold. But his childhood may have something to do with his dysfunctional nature. From the conversations, we know that Frank has had a troubled relationship with his father, Howard, since childhood.
Howard has attempted to shoot Frank, as the former believes his son is apparently “the embodiment of all his bad choices.” Moreover, Howard has left Frank’s mother for an older woman. The neglect from early childhood has presumably culminated in Frank’s oddball personality. Thanks to his parents’ failed marriage, Frank does not believe in love. However, as the ending sees Frank at Lindsay’s doorstep, we realize that Frank is not that cynical after all. Although Frank does not believe in love, the intense feeling of deep affection finds him by surprise, and he has no option but to comply.