Not one of Altman's best, for purely mathematical reasons: it's 40 minutes shorter than Nashville and his twice the number of characters, making it a hit-and-miss swirl of moments and tones that either mix or clash. The central conceit is wonderful, though: that the civilized ritual of a wedding can barely paper over how insane families are when thrown together. Best character: Geraldine Chaplin's wedding planner.
Despite some significant similarities to "Nashville," this film is far less concerned with commenting on the big picture of American culture. Altman narrows his focus on two wealthly families and a large-scale wedding, and his stream-of-consciousness style suits the unusually grounded scenario (for him) surprisingly well. Some outstanding performances, including Carol Burnett, who has never been better on-screen.
No...it's not in league with MASH or NASHVILLE, but it's still a biting satire full of uncomfortable confrontations, oddball characters, and a typically Altmanesque tapestry of wildly diverse actors (Carol Burnett, Geraldine Chaplin, Desi Arnaz Jr., Pat McCormack, Paul Dooley, Mia Farrow, John Cromwell, etc)
Moderately funny, and not a lot else. Obviously pointless to criticize Altman for leaving loose ends, but the fact is a lot of these characters bring nothing to the film, have no discernible effect on the theme, and just add time to a movie that should have been closer to "O.C. and Stiggs" length than that of "Nashville". I mean, the security guards as comic relief was just unnecessary, even if a lot of jokes do hit.