Directed by: #BenKelly
The Wedding is an occasionally charming and humorous independent movie with echoes of The Hangover, and yet is unfortunately hindered by a few too many wooden scenes and technical mishaps.
As is common in wedding-based movies, this UCLan-produced romantic comedy focuses a lot on the ceremony’s supporting members, specifically best man Sam (Richard Massara) and bridesmaid Aggy (Katie Burgess). When the former inexplicably wakes up naked and tied to a lamp-post on the morning of best friend Jonno’s (Ali Cook) wedding to Tanya (Sara Nicole), it falls to the disgruntled Aggy to rescue him. However, simply getting to the service on time is side-tracked by a series of escalating, comical calamities. Meanwhile, the bride and groom are facing their own set of organisational misfortunes, and concerns begin to grow about their big day: is this wedding, this marriage, living up to all their hopes and dreams?
In its character-development and performances, The Wedding is a mixed bag. The best man and bridesmaid are the most likeable and watchable, with a humorous tension existing between Sam, who’s a complete liability, and Aggy, who’s always on top of things. The actors share a natural chemistry and their relationship is amusingly awkward. The viewer does therefore engage in the emotional places this film takes them to. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the characters in the film’s other storyline, at the church. Excluding some lines delivered with zeal by father of the bride Terry (Gary Heron), scenes featuring the bride and groom are often quite wooden. As they lament the mounting problems on their ‘special’ day, the viewer is turned off by unnatural gaps between line deliveries and a lack of chemistry between the actors. Unfortunately, we don’t get much sense of their personalities, nor do we come to understand what makes their relationship tick.
These actors are not helped by some film-making glitches, such as with sound mixing. There are occasions where a loud hissing can be heard in the background, perhaps of some technical apparatus, which distracts the viewer and intrudes on efforts from any attempts create a certain tone. Moreover, many scenes are rather blatantly dubbed, to a distracting degree. In one third act scene within the church, one actor’s speech was seemingly captured within the scene, while the other’s was inserted through post-production. Whether or not this was the case, there was an imbalance in volume and sound quality which made the scene feel quite awkwardly stitched together. Thankfully, though, sequences featuring Sam and Aggy’s shenanigans are mostly well-made and comedically successful.
The Wedding is essentially a mash-up of The Hangover, Gavin & Stacey and Don’t Tell the Bride. It resembles the classic R-rated comedy in how the antics of Sam’s prior night, only remembered in small patches, come back to haunt him on the wedding day. It echoes the famous sitcom in how it brings together a colourful cast on the sides of bride and groom, who interact in comical ways. Lastly, its trajectory resembles an episode of the BBC reality show, in uncovering the importance of appreciating loved ones at the wedding, rather than placing too much emotional emphasis on the ceremony alone. As a result of these combined similarities, the film as a whole feels familiar and, in terms of plot, lacking many surprises.
An intermittently enjoyable romantic comedy, The Wedding has some nice performances and comic sequences, but is ultimately hampered by some sluggish scenes and a slightly derivative storyline.