A competition run by Confetti magazine invites three couples to come up with the most original wedding idea, with the best one being awarded a dream house as a prize. So we get the tennis mad couple, Josef and Isabelle (Mangan and MacNeill) who are going to run out in match gear surrounded by ball boys. Hollywood musical lovers Matt and Sam (Freeman and Stevenson) want their ceremony choreographed like a Busby Berkeley number. Then there are the naturists, Michael and Joanna (Webb and Colman) who want to tie the knot while letting it all hang out.
In mockumentary style we follow the three month build up to the weddings, with all its associated tears and snotters. Isabelle and the hugely obnoxious Josef are the most desperate to win and think the others are getting preferential treatment. Matt and Sam’s plans are in danger of being ruined by her overbearing mother (Steadman) while Michael and Joanna are left reeling by the Confetti editor (Montagu) insisting that they can’t get married naked. Tensions simmer and build so that, by the time the big day rolls around, the question might not be which couple will win, but whether any of them will get married at all.
No one does comedy of embarrassment like us Brits. Larry David maybe, but few others. Working without a script, director Isitt offered the actors a basic outline (a la Curb Your Enthusiasm) but with the dialogue being completely improvised. This does add to the authenticity and reality TV style cringeability, but it does mean that occasionally the cracks show when trying to sustain the momentum of a scene. Most of the big laughs end up being physical or visual as opposed to anything especially clever that someone might come out with.
With a cast comprised mainly of the great and the good of BBC2 and Channel 4 comedy (even if the overall standard of the film isn’t up to many of the shows you might see there) there are certainly plenty of familiar faces on show and everyone acquits themselves well. Freeman continues his everyman persona and Mangan can do loathsome in his sleep but the stand outs are Franklin and Watkins as the wedding planners, Archie and Gregory – they’re the camp and fluffy heart of the film, fully committed to each of the couples’ happiness, even if they do get a bit too literal in their support of Michael and Joanna!
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