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Mike Barnard

Published June 2nd, 2007 | by Mike Barnard

Wedding Daze Review

Classification: 15 Director: Michael Ian Black Rating: 2.5/5

American Pie meets Home & Away star wise in this diverting romantic comedy that doesn’t know whether to be naughty grossing out the audience like the teen movie or pleasantly approachable like the Aussie soap. Biggs stars as the tortured lover once more in the form of Anderson, a down-on-his-luck loner who had his girlfriend Vanessa (Blaser) die on him when he proposed. To escape his weary life, he randomly proposes to diner waitress Katie (Fisher, still probably best known for her role as Shannon in the Neighbours rival), who immediately says yes to escape an unwanted proposal she received the night before. Thrust together in bizarre circumstances they struggle to come to terms with their gut decision to get married with awkward bedroom moments, crazy friends neither of them understand and shocked parents trying to force them apart. Wedding Daze takes a mix of slapstick, sight gags and gross out moments in a conflicting bid to charm us with a tender underbelly.

Although Biggs really should have progressed from films requiring him to act like a love-struck teenager and Fisher struggles to fill the leading lady shoes effectively, Wedding Daze somehow gets by. You would not think it possible just minutes in when Biggs appears nearly naked as Cupid to propose to Vanessa; it all could have gone horribly wrong and puerile. Yet far from relying on endless embarrassment for amusement, writer/director Michael Ian Black utilises a quirky style similar to Sleeping Dogs which keeps you guessing what direction he will take and where the laughs will come from. Yes, Biggs is the same character again and no, Fisher’s stunningly cute looks can’t hide her poor delivery, however they are well supported by a cast who inject the level of energy expected if they were making their debuts.

Anderson’s overweight and oversexed parents provide a few squeamish moments while Katie’s folks offer a few surprisingly original prods at Jewish beliefs and the opportunity for Pantoliano to prove he still exists as a hyperactive Buddhist jailbird. Away from the family moments, the best scenes involve a pair of Russian circus performers stuck working at Katie’s diner: they spend the movie putting swords down their throats and throwing knives at apples on their heads in the background. Moss-Bachrach as Matador somehow pulls off deadpan madcap behaviour, donning a Darth Vader mask whenever possible and driving a tiny car he can’t see out of due to engine smoke. Amongst all this craziness Black leaves some time for Anderson and Katie to play off each other’s insecurities about their sudden engagement, but not too much as the Biggs-Fisher partnership sparks merely intermittently.

It is disappointing to see Fisher struggle in her first major lead role, especially after setting Wedding Crashers alight as a feisty nymphomaniac. Together with Biggs they look a little too old to be running around in slightly above average comedies, but at the very least there is fun to be had. Admittedly I walked into Wedding Daze predicting a snore-fest of typical teen movie/rom com cliches. It is not the height of sophistication, yet there is some offbeat humour to be found if you are prepared to go with the uneven flow of jokes and ignore the dead end scenes. A massive bucket of popcorn, two litres of coke, nachos and your significant other sitting next to you would probably be a good idea too.


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