Love Wedding Repeat (Netflix)
Starring: Sam Claflin as Jack, Olivia Munn as Dina, Eleanor Tomlinson as Hayley, Joel Fry as Bryan, Tim Key as Sidney, Aisling Bea as Rebecca, Jack Farthing as Marc, Allan Mustafa as Chaz, Freida Pinto as Amanda
Directed by Dean Craig
Rating: ** ½ (2 and a half stars)
Don’t know what you’ve heard. But nothing good has been said about the new Netflix feature film. Nothing good is said about anything these days. It’s the sign of the times. And just looking at so many characters together at a lavish wedding in Italy with good-looking people getting drunk and making a fool of themselves, reminds us of a time, not so long ago, when big fat weddings were a prevalent phenomenon.
And we were all invited. So, welcome to this wedding where the pretty Hayley (Eleanor Tomlinson) is about to marry her Italian dream-man Roberto (Tiziano Capute) as all sorts of pickled, sozzled, disgruntled guests assemble in a castle-like wedding venue meant for a princess’ wedding.
It’s all meant to be deceptively idyllic and glamorous. And we know things will fall apart and the elegant festivities come undone in no time at all. The problem with Love Wedding Repeat is not that it’s a bad film. Its problem is a more intrinsic absence of pleasantness. The characters are uniformly unlikeable, and none more so than Freida Pinto playing a colour-blind stuckup bitch who treats her new boyfriend like smelly trash and at one point, right in front of the guests, she orders him to stand away from her. For the record, he obeys.
Amanda (Pinto)’s boyfriend Chaz has a size-problem. He has been taunted into believing that his sex organ is far less substantial than her ex-boyfriend’s. There is even a big scene created where Chaz confronts Amanda’s ex-boy-friend about this size thing. It’s a ‘hugely’ embarrassing moment, and very much in character.
Everyone is busy embarrassing the hell out of everyone, including themselves. Trying to keep the sophisticated farce afloat is our disheveled hero Jack (Sam Claflin) the bride’s brother who has eyes only for Dina (Olivia Munn) a war reporter whose tales of tragedy and loss are lost in the melee of mirthful festivity that the director whips up in two halves.
In the first we see everything coming to a disastrous end. In the second-half we see the wedding coming to a happy end. Everyone gets what he or she wants in the end. And that includes Jack’s oddball best friend Bryan (Joel Fry) who at one point looks so sleepy that it becomes impossible for him to remain a functional invitee as this wired-out wedding.
I am happy to say things are not so bad for us. We pretty much stay awake watching the two-tiered hijinks. There is a man at the wedding in an uncomfortable kilt played with superb smugness by Tim Key, who keeps boring the hell out of others. Watching him one gets a sense what this film feels about lavish weddings.
Nobody listens. Everybody talks. There will always be the party-poopers. Love Wedding Repeat revels in the chaos of a wedding gone wrong. It doesn’t quite achieve the blitheness of spirit that we expect. But it isn’t an ordeal to watch the wedding guests trip over their champagne.