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|Directed by||Theresa Connelly|
|Written by||Theresa Connelly|
|Produced by||Nick Wechsler|
|Music by||Luis Bacalov|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Polish Wedding is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Theresa Connelly. It was screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 1998 and Berlin International Film Festival on February 12. It was released in the U.S. on July 17.
It takes place within the then Polish American community of Hamtramck, Michigan – the childhood home of director Theresa Connelly – at some time between the 1950s and 1970s. The interior of the family's home was shot in a local house on Wyandotte Street in Hamtramck. The St. Florian Church was used as a backdrop. Virtually all characters are Polish Americans, though the actors playing them are mostly of other ethnic origins. Kristen Bell appears in an uncredited role, making this her film debut.
Jadzia is the matriarch of a family of five children, four sons and a daughter. The household also includes the eldest son Ziggy's wife Sofie– a Syrian-American whom Jadzia calls a Gypsy and who also works with Jadzia as a cleaner – and their infant child.
Jadzia is “somewhat” happily married to the baker Bolek, who she married after she got pregnant at 15. She also is having a long-term relationship with Roman, who she secretly sees. Her daughter Hala is a dropout, so is expected to help around the house.
The flirtatious Hala catches the eye of neighborhood cop Russell Schuster, who knows her middle brothers, Kaz and Witek. He helps them on the house so he can see her. That evening, equally attracted to each other, they make love, though Russell has second thoughts. At church on Sunday, Russell has difficulty keeping his eyes off Hala. After the service, they kiss on the church's steps.
When Jadzia arrives home late, she finds her key doesn't work in the back door. Starting to sneak in through a basement window she bumps into Hala, who's sneaking out. Before Jadzia can hit her, she blurts out to not hurt her baby.
The next day, Hala is at their Catholic church, as the priest had chosen her for a special activity, due to her supposed purity. Jadzia confronts her, so she leaves.
Jadzia and Sofie make Hala put on Sofie's wedding dress to pressure Russell into marrying her. She gets him to take her out on his motorcycle, they have sex again, but he refuses to marry her. When Hala sneaks into the basement window, Bolek sees and follows close behind. They have cigs with Kris, then Bolek goes out the window, sees Jadzia and follows her. She goes to Roman's, and Bolek is devastated to see her with him.
After making love, Roman surprises Jadzia with two tickets to Paris, wanting to run off there with her. She refuses due to her familial responsibilities, and when he asks her why she's with him she leaves. Marching home at dawn, Jadzia rallies her sons to go with her to the Schusters' and demand Russell take responsibility for impregnating Hala. Kris gets Bolek to help, but he quickly directs his anger from Russell towards Jadzia.
Bolek chases Jadzia home, almost hits her, then locks the door behind him. That night they make up by making love. In the morning, the whole family is in the kitchen when Jadzia and Bolek seemingly have a fight, but Hala finds them happily together in the pantry.
The next day, at the Polish-American Catholic church ceremony, a youth calls out to say that Hala is hardly an example of virginal purity as she's single and pregnant. The priest is about to strike her when Jadzia stops him.
One year later, Hala and Russell are at her Polish family home, together happily with their baby.
- Claire Danes as Hala
- Jon Bradford as Sailor
- Adam Trese as Russell Schuster
- Lena Olin as Jadzia
- Ramsey Krull as Kris
- Gabriel Byrne as Bolek
- Seamus McNally as Heckler
- Daniel Lapaine as Ziggy
- Rachel and Rebecca Morrin as Ziggy and Sofie's Baby
- Mili Avital as Sofie
- Steven Petrarca as Witek
- Brian Hoyt as Kaz
- Christina Romana Lypeckyj as Kasia
- Peter Carey as Piotrus
- Rade Šerbedžija as Roman
- Kristen Bell as teenage girl (uncredited)
- Polish Wedding at IMDb
- Polish Wedding at AllMovie
- Polish Wedding at the TCM Movie Database
- "The Big Lebowski Goes To The Polish Wedding: Polish Americans – Hollywood Style", review by John J. Bukowczyk
- STEPHEN HOLDEN (July 17, 1998). "The Polish Wedding". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12.