Weddings often come with baggage, but they're especially complicated when they're the nuptials of your estranged, wealthy half-sister. Ben Platt, Kristen Bell, and Allison Janney are about to find out just how messy things can get in The People We Hate at the Wedding.
EW has your first look at the film (below), which hits Prime Video on Nov. 18.
Based on the 2016 Grant Ginder novel of the same name, the film, directed by Claire Scanlon, brings audiences into a world of adults who've long put their maturation on hold.
"Grant Ginder created such a fun and relatable family — with very unique, comedic ways of avoiding adult responsibility," says Scanlon. "The vulnerability of his characters, so flawed yet desperately looking for human connection, very much spoke to me."
Scanlon is comfortable in the world of comedies and weddings, having made her feature debut with Set It Up, a Netflix rom-com many consider the first to revitalize the genre after a fallow period. Just as she showcased New York City in Set It Up, Scanlon was eager to shine a light on London's beauty with Wedding.
The film, co-written by Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux, follows Paul (Platt) and Alice (Bell) as adult siblings struggling in their own lives; they reluctantly agree to join their mother, Donna (Janney), in England for the wedding of their half-sister Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson).
Scanlon tells EW she moved to her new project with ease. "I feel most comfortable in the world of hard comedy," she says. "Both Set It Up and The People We Hate at the Wedding share common ground on that front. Flawed people avoiding the consequences of their actions — that never blows up in one's face does it? I love watching this family squirm and frankly get their own comeuppance for making absolutely terrible, yet hilarious choices."
Platt was the first actor to sign on to the film. "His character is so sweet and people-pleasing, yet in trying to please his boyfriend, he's losing his own sense of self," Scanlon says of Platt's role. "Ben loved portraying that complexity on film."
The director also recruited Bell, with whom she had worked on The Good Place, to replace Annie Murphy (Schitt's Creek) as Alice, praising Bell's distinct point of view on the family.
Meanwhile for her matriarch, she turned to screen veteran Allison Janney (The West Wing, I, Tonya). "Like any human being on the planet, I found Allison intimidating, but she quickly made me forget with her disarming smile and down-to-earth approach," gushes Scanlon. "I am so grateful to her for bringing Donna to life. What audience won't appreciate a mother who simply wants to see all her kids together in one place, especially after these past few years?"
She also sings the praises of Addai-Robinson as the odd woman out in this already dysfunctional family. "Cynthia had such a tricky part to play," Scanlon offers. "Her siblings absolutely worship her and place her on a pedestal, but just because she presents as perfect doesn't mean Eloise is perfect. She has feelings and they get hurt. To play the straight character against this motley crew was no easy feat, and Cynthia sure did rise to the occasion."
Check out EW's first-look photos below for a closer look at the all-star cast before The People We Hate at the Wedding debuts on Prime Video Nov. 18.