Sunday, 19 August 2012

Review: The Wedding Video

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The Wedding Video poster

The Wedding Video
94 mins / Dir. Nigel Cole

I've got to be honest, I'd already judged this film by its poster. Twee, isn't it? Now the thing about books and covers isn't supposed to be true*1, but can the same be said for movies? Exorbitant amounts of money are shovelled into marketing films to their chosen demographic by assembling a poster than does not accurately portray the cinematic work it's advertising, but instead pushes the buttons of its respective target audience. If they're mis-sold a movie? Who gives a shit, you've already got their £8. Damn, I'm cynical. If any of you lovely people have ever been in a room when someone's asked my about my opinion*2 on Love, Actually, then you'll know what I've got against this type of cinematic setup.

Anyhow, looking at the poster you see above, my mind had decided 'Ensemble Britcom, laboured farce, Bill Nighy lurking somewhere playing himself. Again.' Amazingly (and thankfully), I was proved wrong…



The Plot: As a gift for his brother Tim's wedding to Saskia, Raif plans to shoot a video documenting the big day, and the six weeks leading up to it. But the path of true love never runs smooth, and neither does a British wedding! With hilarious consequences…

The Good: Yes, I was pleasantly surprised. I like Rufus Hound, Robert Webb and Lucy Punch anyway, but all of their performances are dialled much further down than you'd expect, and it makes for a stronger film as a result. The entire movie is shot first-person (and is essentially The Wedding Video), a device which works far better than it should. On a technical level, devices are put in place to facilitate all three leads being in shot at the same time (and simultaneous shots, miles apart, being intercut) and they work 95% of the time. It's only going to be film geeks and tapeheads who sit and raise an eyebrow at the finalised professionalism of what they're watching (even though that's alluded to, albeit slightly unconvincingly).

But ultimately The Wedding Video is funny. To the point where I laughed out loud a lot. And that's the point, right? It gets a bit Whiny™ toward the end, sure, but it's kept pretty much to a minimum (albeit with implausible results). If this film had come out of one of the Hollywood majors, it would have been so much more hard work. Shit, I smell a re-make already. Has anyone got Paul Rudd's number?


The Bad: It lurches towards the aforementioned Britcom Farce from time to time, which seems out of place only because the rest of the film's so much better than that. There are pacing issues I really can't go into without majorly spoiling the film, but they don't spoil the film, if that makes any sense. Key plot points aren't so much telegraphed as handed to audience members on Post-It notes when they buy their tickets. If you treat The Wedding Video as a series of sketches, rather than a narrative, it's a lot easier to watch.


The Ugly: There ain't a lot of Robert Webb in this Robert Webb film. I've already been shortchanged by Batman this year, ffs. In all honesty, I can see why the film has him in such a surprisingly muted role (in many senses), but I think it could have been fleshed out with more Tim. And that's my only major gripe with it. Yes, I can't remember the last time that happened, either. I like Robert Webb.


Worth £8+? Just about. I mean, if you can hold off, it'll be on DVD for £3*3 in less than a year. I actually paid to see this at a Vue cinema, so it wasn't included in my Cineworld thing. What I'm saying is, for a £9 layout, this blog could have been a lot angrier. Now if I'm happy, the civilians should be more than. Look, it's good, but my expectations were incredibly low. I may well have just raised yours. Disregard all this if you haven't seen the film yet, but come back and congratulate me later if you agree*4.

5/7

Geek Point: During Tim's speech in the church, I could have sworn I saw Julian Glover (General Veers/Walter Donovan) sitting behind Saskia's mother, filming proceedings on his phone. I'm probably mistaken, but I'd spent the film thinking I might have heard a Wilhelm Scream, so that sort of thing was on my mind. Let me know if it is him, yeah?

*1 Even though it is. That said, I usually judge any particular book by the kind of people that read it. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
*2 By which I mean, been in a room when someone's mentioned Love, Actually and I've been within earshot.
3 Such is the way of things. It's why people don't pay £9 to see films at the cinema.
*4 Meta, isn't it?

DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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