'Destination Wedding': The wonderful story behind Winona Ryder's quirky plant scenes

Director Levin calls Winona extremely bright and creative as a writer while describing the brilliance she brought to the scenes.


                            'Destination Wedding': The wonderful story behind Winona Ryder's quirky plant scenes

Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder have rekindled their on-screen chemistry for the fourth time in Victor Levin’s ‘Destination Wedding’ - a movie that questions love, relationships, happiness and life so much that it forces you to reconsider your notions about these concepts. There are some very interesting scenes that drive home some very specific points regarding these themes, one of which is Winona’s Lindsay breathing Oxygen into the plants around her. It reinstates her sense of loneliness and dire need for living things to be around her and possibly to contribute to their wellbeing.   

It turns out there is a very interesting and long journey that ended with the plants. Director Levin explains, “It was originally planned that she had a service dog. The sole responsibility of the dog was emotional support.” Unfortunately, though, the dog turned out to be too expensive, because of which they had to turn it into a service fish.  

“She was gonna carry around the little fish in a bag. That would provide emotional support,” says Levin. There is an Easter Egg for you sharp-eyed viewers in the film. At the very end of the film, you will see that the LLC - the Limited Liability Corporation - that owns the film is called Service Fish. “That's because we had gone from a service dog which is expensive to a service fish which is less expensive,” he explains.  

The service fish did not work out either, because it turned out to be too cumbersome to carry around the bag with the fish. “In addition [ to that] we didn't want to hurt any fish,” he says. However, the character of Lindsay demanded a "form of living thing to provide emotional support.” And, so it went from the service fish to the plant.  

Keanu Reeves as Frank and Winona Rider as Lindsay in 'Destination Wedding' (Robb Rosenfeld / Regatta)
Keanu Reeves as Frank and Winona Rider as Lindsay in 'Destination Wedding' (Robb Rosenfeld / Regatta)

She was supposed to be presenting her thoughts to her plants wherever she goes and that bit was in the script. However, the specific scenes and the comedic, tragical elements that they emitted were all Winona, says Levin. Specifically, “the scene where Winona lies down on the bed after the rehearsal dinner and speaks to the plant from a distance - that, I just gave her the general parameters of her monologue and then she did it on her own”. Levin reveals it is one of his favorite scenes from the movie as well.  

"I love it when any of our actors are so deeply into the material that they feel like they can just conjure dialogue on their own. It fits the character, it fits the story. Sometimes you get the very best things that way,” he elaborates. “The script is a starting off point and it's great to know that everything you have to cover in a scene is covered and it's a terrific blueprint and you should work on it very hard, but in my opinion, you should also have your mind open to things that might happen on the day, that are unexpected and perhaps better.”  

“I was really, really impressed with how Winona played that and very, very happy to have that scene included in the movie. She is extremely bright and creative as a writer in addition to [being a] performer and you have to harness that if you can,” he adds. “You have to take advantage of that.” 

Well, us viewers are sure glad she did. If you haven’t already you definitely need to check out ‘Destination Wedding,’ and spend a little time with Lindsay and Reeves’ Frank.