Title Card, The Young Wife
Title Card, The Young Wife

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Plot Summary

It is the eve of Celestina’s becoming River’s wife, and she has done her best to get all the big personalities in her and River’s lives to see this as something that is not a wedding. However, from his family buying balloons and flowers, getting a cake and more, combined with Celestina’s people wanting to drink and be merry, what was supposed to be seen as a party has quickly become everything Celestina didn’t want.

But, to make matters worse, she and River aren’t in the best space with both trying to figure out their careers and money, and then there is the possibility of them not complimenting each other as they should. However, whether all this will be taken as a sign that maybe the nuptials shouldn’t happen is up to Celestina, and with being unable to talk to her mom, Angelique, and her main confidant, Cookie, at a point in life where she wants to be relinquished from being people’s rock, this decision may have to firmly rest on Celestina’s shoulders.

Cast and Characters

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
Celestina Kiersey Clemons
River Leon Bridges
Angelique Sheryl Lee Ralph
Cookie Judith Light
Sabrina Aida Osman

Celestina

Celestina (Kiersey Clemons)
Celestina (Kiersey Clemons)

A former consultant from an upper-middle-class family, Celestina is young and in need of guidance since she has just drastically changed her life and doesn’t know where she’ll end up. But, with being the planner of her relationship, she knows she can’t rest on her privilege and wait for things to turn out good.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Am I OK?

River

Celestina (Kiersey Clemons) and River (Leon Bridges)
Celestina (Kiersey Clemons) and River (Leon Bridges)

At one time, River was going to be a lawyer, but now he finds himself wandering between different interests, with law being in the background.

Angelique

Fabulous and an undeniable presence, Angelique is fawned over by all of Celestina’s friends, and for River’s family, just removing a few degrees of separation has them buzzing.

Cookie

Cookie (Judith Light)
Cookie (Judith Light)

Cookie is the matriarch of River’s family, but she has grown tired of that role and is ready to retire it. Especially since, like Angelique, her partner has died, and while she is wonderful without them, life isn’t the same.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “ White Light.”

Sabrina

Sabrina is Celestina’s ex, someone who is into musical theatre, and her lifestyle seems to be one of Celestina’s current inspirations regarding balancing what makes life worth living and paying her bills.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Rap Sh!t.”

Other Noteworthy Information

Collected Quote(s)

  • How much more do you want me to live through for me to have lived enough life for you? — Cookie

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Good If You Like

  • Movies about wedding anxiety

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Highlights

Feeling Celestina’s Anxiety and Being As Overwhelmed As She Is

If you are introverted in any way, what Celestina goes through may seem like a horror movie. River comes from a family of talkers who like to take initiative and push boundaries because they believe they know best. Which makes it so, for Celestina, who might be recovering from a nervous breakdown, they are too much, and you can easily find yourself in Clemons’ head.

For on top of the people showing up, pushing her to take River’s last name, whether she is pregnant, and other questions, then you have Celestina’s own people questioning why is she getting married, asking if River knows her secret, and then there is Sabrina, Celestina’s ex. You can see there are residual feelings from both parties, but a friendship remains because they can’t just break up and abandon one another. Yet, their former intimacy allows Sabrina to call Celestina out, and it only furthers the racing thoughts.

Overall, it leaves you as weary as if you were watching a drama when someone was being put in physical harm.

Celestina’s Relationship With Cookie and Sabrina

Sabrina (Aida Osman)
Sabrina (Aida Osman)

While, as noted below, Celestina and River have a bit of a lackluster relationship, the same can’t be said when it comes to Cookie and Sabrina. As noted above, Sabrina and Celestina still have something there, and while romance isn’t even hinted as something that could be in their future, you can tell a chemistry remains that can morph from soothing to volatile depending on the catalyst.

However, while Cookie is River’s grandmother, she spends most of her time with Celestina, and while Angelique may be Celestina’s mom, the scenes that you see give Celestina peace are with Cookie. This makes Cookie, as an individual, one of the few who you want to know further. I’d even say, as much as Angelique is a notable presence, thanks to Sheryl Lee Ralph playing her, Cookie might be the only one who doesn’t need bravado to draw you in and make you take note of their presence.

On The Fence

You May Not Understand Why The Marriage Is Happening

Angelique (Sheryl Lee Ralph)
Angelique (Sheryl Lee Ralph)

For a good part of the movie, River isn’t there, and when he is, there is one moment, in a closet, where he and Celestina are in bliss. However, from there, you see why her mother questions the relationship; a good part of her friends are just trying to be happy for her, and why she perhaps doesn’t want this to be seen as a wedding.

It isn’t about loving each other forever or financial safety, insurance – nothing. We’re truly not told why these two are getting married, and outside of one cute scene, their back and forth makes it seem they should be more focused on an amicable breakup than trying to work towards spending their lives together.

Background Information

Film Length 1 Hour 37 Minutes
Date Released May 31, 2024
Director(s) Tayarisha Poe
Writer(s) Tayarisha Poe
Genre(s) ComedyDramaRomanceYoung Adult
Content Rating Rated R
Content Information
Dialog Cursing
Violence N/A
Sexual Content N/A
Miscellaneous Drinking, Drug Use, Smoking

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The Young Wife (2024) Review

Summary

While you do have to applause Clemons for getting you into Celestina’s mindset and perhaps creating some fear of marriage in you, being that you don’t really understand why Celestina is marrying River, the foundation of the film feels weak and barely able to handle everything that is built off what should be the central relationship.

Overall
80%
80%
  • Feeling Celestina’s Anxiety and Being As Overwhelmed As She Is - 84%
    84%
  • Celestina’s Relationship With Cookie and Sabrina - 82%
    82%
  • You May Not Understand Why The Marriage Is Happening - 74%
    74%
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User Review
0/100 (0 votes)

Highlight(s)

  • Celestina’s Relationship With Cookie and Sabrina
  • Feeling Celestina’s Anxiety and Being As Overwhelmed As She Is

Disputable

  • You May Not Understand Why The Marriage Is Happening

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