Weddings often feature in films. They produce that supposedly easily relatable mix of high emotions, high stakes, competition and widespread drunkenness that seems to convince the filmmakers to throw in some disasters in lieu of enhancing the narrative. So, what is usually missing in action is a level of believability, a measure of which is required even in a comedy, and a clue as to why anyone actually gets married. This latest incarnation of The Wedding Film addresses these issues in an amusing and enjoyable way.
Rufus Hound plays Raif Moyle, who has come home from a long stint of travelling upon learning that his stoic brother Tim (Robert Webb) has become engaged to be wed and decides to film everything in the run up to the wedding as a present, which for entertainment value certainly beats a crystal bowl or some matching egg cups.
Raif only learns the identity of his sister-in-law to be, Saskia (Lucy Punch), when Tim picks him up from the airport and it gradually becomes clear that he had a stonking crush on her back in the days when she wasn’t so refined. That, coupled with the craziness of Saskia’s mother Alex (Harriet Walter) forms the basis of many of the jaunty japes we see throughout the film.
The whole thing is filmed as if it were a wedding video but without much of that added shaky cam realism touch, saving it from being too irritating. Rufus Hound is funny without being totally over the top and Punch plays it mostly straight as does Webb. Harriet Walter remains completely straight faced as she presents ever more preposterous additions to the already over the top wedding. The joy in the film comes from many of the bit parts, especially from people such as Miriam Margolyes and Michelle Gomez, who most of you will know as the hilariously bonkers Sue White of Green Wing.
The Wedding Video is not likely to win any awards but this is a charming effort from director Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls and Made in Dagenham) and writer Tim Firth (Calendar Girls and Confessions of a Shopaholic), holding the attention as it takes side swipes at the ever more ridiculous wedding circus that many of us are familiar with.
Maryann has awarded The Wedding Video three Torches of Truth.