Polish Wedding (1998)



Critic Consensus: An awkward mix of drama and comedy lacks any genuine emotion.

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Movie Info

Theresa Connelly makes her directorial debut with her own screenplay, a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy-drama, set in working-class Detroit, about a large Polish-American family run by matriarch Jadzia Pzoniak (Lena Olin). Her four boys obey her, but adolescent Hala (Claire Danes) is rebellious and independent. Although happily married to bakery worker Bolek (Gabriel Byrne), Jadzia engages in an almost-open affair with Roman (Rade Serbedzija). Hala sneaks off for late-night trysts with her handsome neighbor Russell Schuster (Adam Trese), resulting in her pregnancy. After her parents learn the news, Russell is forced to marry Hala, and a big Polish wedding is planned. Shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Lena Olin
as Jadzia Pzoniak
Gabriel Byrne
as Bolek Pzoniak
Claire Danes
as Hala Pzoniak
Mili Avital
as Sophie Pzoniak
Adam Trese
as Russell Schuster
Daniel Lapaine
as Ziggy Pzoniak
Jeffrey Nordling
as Father Don
Peter Carey
as Piotrusz
Jon Bradford
as Sailor
Robert Daniels
as Roman's Business Partner
Randy Godwin
as Nosy Neighbor
Mitchell Mandeberg
as Stanley Mislinski
Sheldon Alkon
as Man in Church
Joanna Woodcock
as Woman in Bakery
Joseph Haynes
as Mr. Schuster
Judy Dery
as Mrs. Schuster
Sparks of Fire
as Band at Festival
Rick Thompson
as Heckler
Seamus McNally
as Heckler No. 2
Cassidy Cirka
as Hala's Baby
Rebecca Morrin
as Ziggy and Sofie's Baby
Rachel Morrin
as Ziggy and Sofie's Baby
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Polish Wedding

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (9)

Pregnant With Problems!

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Too many scenes float above reality!

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A nearly laugh-free comedy!

December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

Polish Wedding is a confident, light drama.

December 31, 1999
Top Critic

And you wondered why they have so many Polish jokes? Here's one.

July 10, 2003

Although the film lacks the charm of the ethnic gem Moonstruck, it does justice in its own idiosyncratic way to the unpredictable course of love.

Full Review… | March 2, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Polish Wedding

Polish Wedding is a largely forgettable movie about a free spirited girl, Hala (Claire Danes), and her earthy, sensual mom, Jadzia (Lena Olin) and sad sack father, Bolek (Gabriel Byrne). Hala runs the streets at night, while her mom is having an affair with a guy at work, and her dad sits at home and mopes. The polish accents sounded forced, and were entirely unnecessary, but must have been meant to emphasize that these people were outsiders. This viewer found them annoying. The story followed a fairly predictable arc and the only thing that kept this viewer engaged was the radiant beauty of Ms Danes. Three stars, just for her.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

This film was lacking in many ways but I couldn't help but be interested in the day to day lives of this family of Polish immigrants living in Detroit. The story was lovingly if awkwardly written but the acting from the three main characters: Yadviga (Lena Olin), Bolec (Gabriel Byrne), and Halla (Claire Danes) was brilliant as they always are even if the movies they are in aren't. Bolec (the patriarch) is tired and loving and sometimes generally ignored by his tempestuous wife, the mother proud and unforgiving and having an affair with a wealthy man, and the daughter is sneaking out at night "getting herself into trouble." It's a typical story, but it has heart. Verdict: if you catch it on cable give it a try. It's alright.

Courtney Williams
Courtney Williams

Cute. Lena Olin and Claire Danes are very good in this.

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

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