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The Wedding Video - Review

The Wedding Video

Review by Rob Carnevale

NIGEL Cole’s The Wedding Video is the type of comedy that’s a little too mean-spirited for its own good, as well as taking liberties within its own format.

It follows the run-up to the wedding of uptight Tim (Robert Webb) to well-to-do Saskia (Lucy Punch) as captured on video by the former’s best man and brother, Raif (Rufus Hound), as a nuptial gift.

Far from merely recording the fun bits, though, Raif is on hand to video-tape it all, whether it’s the constant meddling of Tim’s future mother-in-law or the tension that slowly starts to build between the bride and groom-to-be themselves.

Cole’s film does offer some laughs in its depiction of traditional wedding faux pars, albeit in a more exaggerated style, and offers some good performances from the likes of Punch, Miriam Margoyles (as an acid-tongued grandmother) and Harriet Walker (as Saskia’s neurotic, take-control mum).

But overall the film struggles to feel anything other than contrived, while failing to provide anyone for the audience to genuinely care about.

Hound, in particular, is an annoying presence, whose antics would be enough to test anyone’s patience. It’s doubtful whether he’d even make it to the wedding were this real life. Yet by the time the movie is through, audiences are expected to sympathise with him and cheer for the events that make up the last act ‘twist’.

Webb, meanwhile, has little to do except act put-upon, while Punch suffers from a character trajectory that feels unconvincing to say the least.

The use of hand-held cameras does, at least, lend the film an authentic look, while the script has a similarly ‘captured’ or ‘improv’ feel. But the various plot machinations feel contrived and detract from any momentum the film is able to gather, while the inevitable turn towards the sentimental and heartfelt just feels false.

Similarly, Cole’s decision to start directing things from the perspective of two different camera crews feels like a cheat.

If cringe-inducing comedy populated by unlikeable characters is your thing, then The Wedding Video boasts a certain car crash quality. But even that doesn’t detract from its flaws, which quickly become too many to ignore.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 94mins
UK Release Date: August 17, 2012