Love. Wedding. Repeat, 2020.
Directed by Dean Craig
Starring Sam Clafin, Olivia Munn, Freida Pinto, Eleanor Tomlinson, Joel Fry, Jack Farthing, Tim Key, Allan Mustafa, Aisling Bea, Paulo Mazzarelli, and Tiziano Caputo
Weddings are stressful at the best of times, but for Jack (Sam Clafin), his sisters wedding has a special set of ingredients: an angry ex-girlfriend, an uninvited guest, a missing sleep sedative, and a reunion with the one that got away (Olivia Munn).
There is a small subset of British rom-coms that go largely unnoticed upon release, only to be given this strange late-night terrestrial television afterlife, or create a digital repeat syndication appreciation society. Think wonderful Simon Pegg and Lake Bell London charmer Man Up, which made about 50p at the box-office, but is now considered an underrated gem. Or Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall in the refreshingly honest I Give It a Year, a wedding themed comedy that serves up its fair share of genre tropes, but does enough with them to make it well worth your time.
It’s hard to imagine Love. Wedding. Repeat receiving the same kind of goodwill longevity. In fact, you might struggle to get through even one sitting with this set of uniquely irritating characters and their rubbish Rashamon routine.
Adapted from the 2012 French comedy Plan de Table, it feels as though something has been lost in translation from the off, as we’re introduced to a zero-chemistry couple being thwarted from a first-kiss by a cruel twist of fate. This is the moment the movie is meant to hinge on: the star-crossed lovers that we’ll root for as a maelstrom of chaos swirls around them towards a happy-ending.
The problem is, that despite being played by Sam Clafin, who proved in Their Finest that charming leading man is well within his repertoire, and Office Christmas Party’s comedy MVP Olivia Munn, their relationship is given no time develop into anything other than being two good-looking people who’re attracted to eachother. There’s no witty repartee between the two, no real flirting, no on-screen meet-cute, in fact everything that has developed between them took place before the movie had even started, which seems like it was when most people were at their happiest, including the audience.
Not to worry though, because sometimes it’s the guests who leave the most indelible mark at a wedding, rather than the main attraction, and Love. Wedding. Repeat has a cast that includes People Just Do Nothing’s Alan Mustafa, Living With Yourself’s Aisling Bea, Yesterday’s Joe Fry, and the perennially funny Tim Key from This Time with Alan Partridge. Well, you know that recognisable sound of microphone feedback that’s often used for a joke falling flat in a packed auditorium? You can insert that here, because the paucity of laughs on offer throughout is shocking considering the talent involved.
An intoxicated maid-of-honour speech, and an inspired final scene piece of profanity are about the only times a guilty titter was offered up.
Admittedly there is a moment of intrigue when the narrator, referred to as ‘The Oracle’, suddenly turns the movie into a Sliding Doors narrative by introducing alternate timelines for events, but despite the best efforts of the cast, none of them prove to be any more interesting or funnier than what we were originally watching.
Deserving of a quick-fire divorce, Love. Wedding. Repeat is an entirely joyless affair, wasting a guest list of impressive actors with excruciating dialogue and sub-par levels of farce. Imagine watching the dullest wedding home-video of all time, and you’re not even half way there.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ / Movie ★
Matt Rodgers – Follow me on Twitter @mainstreammatt