Love Wedding Repeat - Netflix Film Review

★★★★

Directed by #DeanCraig

Written by #DeanCraig

Starring #SamClaflin, #OliviaMunn, #EleanorTomlinson

Film Review by Amber Jackson

Acting like an awkward Hugh Grant film, Love Wedding Repeat has all the attributes of a UK film that audiences culturally adore. Director Dean Craig creates a sweet, light-hearted homage to a cult genre of British 1990s/early 2000s films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually, that leaves audiences feeling fulfilled.

Sam Claflin leads as Jack, a caught-in-the-middle awkward protagonist who is always trying to do right by those around him. On the day of his sister’s wedding, Jack encounters multiple obstacles from guests as he tries to ensure that the happy couple have the perfect day. Feeling like Charles in Four Weddings, Jack combines a calm humour with bumbling dialogue creates a familiar filmic feeling.

A brilliant, high-profile cast features some current British favourites in film and TV, particularly looking at the Poldark cast. Eleanor Tomlinson gives off sweet Keira Knightley vibes as sister Hayley, but with a hot-headed twist as the plot progresses. Framing the entire story is the budding love story between Jack and American war journalist Dina (Olivia Munn) in a series of uncomfortable and relatable moments of missing the perfect romantic moment with someone. It is a film cliché that still makes audiences cringe with the frustration of “oh come on just kiss her!”

Hilarious acting rules this piece, with every awkward moment being very well done. Hayley desperately seeks a perfect wedding day with new husband Roberto (Tiziano Caputo) after committing to each other, yet obstacles keep throwing themselves in her way. The first half of the film is fun and fresh and captivates audiences with the awkwardness of dialogue and a plot teeming with infuriating scenarios revolving around wedding villain Marc (Jack Farthing) trying to sabotage the big day. It is left to Jack to keep Roberto’s family unassuming, whilst he also tries to spark romance with Dina. The result is disastrous, yet incredibly entertaining to watch.

What likens this film to its predecessors is how many different types of relationships at varying stages are represented. Craig invites audiences to gaze upon them within the traditionally blissful wedding setting and consider couples in a more contemporary context. We get to see the first moments before a relationship between Jack and Dina as they begin to like each other with uncertainty, versus the breakdown of insecure couple Chaz (Allan Mustafa) and Amanda (Freida Pinto). Love Wedding Repeat manages to capture those moments of commitment, catastrophe and commiseration within the boundaries of love.

Contemporary questions have arisen over this film being a tad outdated in style, but despite this, the second half of the film is a lot shorter, as the reset button is hit. However, this adventurous decision makes the tone of the film feel disjointed hereafter, as clips of every potential circumstance is shown. It begins to feel a bit thin and even surface-level in parts and you begin to wish you had more backstory with certain characters like sister Hayley (Tomlinson) to explain their motives more.

Although the second half doesn’t live up to standards set by the first, you still leave with a credit-rolling smile. This is ultimately a fun watch that is good if audiences want to escape from reality for an hour and a half. They don’t make a lot of UK films like this anymore and it is nice to see a film that harks back to the classics that we all love and enjoy. Upon reflection, audiences will still probably opt for those classics over this one, but it is nice to see something different.

#AmberJackson