Release Date: 17th August, 2012
Director: Nigel Cole
Starring: Lucy Punch, Robert Webb, Rufus Hound
If there’s one thing I was not looking forward to after the success of The Hangover and Bridesmaids, it was the inevitable slew of terrible wedding-themed comedies riding on their coattails, desperately attempting to emulate their fame.
On paper, The Wedding Video could have worked. Directed by Nigel Cole (Made in Dagenham, Calendar Girls) and starring a slew of recognisable faces from British telly, there was at least potential for an entertaining, if completely forgettable comedy. Sadly, this is far from the case and The Wedding Video may just be this year’s most dull, lifeless and poorly-constructed film so far.
The film stars Rufus Hound and Robert Webb as brothers Raif and Tim respectively. Raif has returned home to attend Tim’s wedding to Saskia (Lucy Punch) — an old school friend of Raif’s, and notorious rebel throughout her teenage years. As a wedding gift to the mismatched couple, Raif decides to document the events of the wedding, and its lead-up, on video. The three leads have little to no chemistry — any connection that could be read into between Rufus Hound and Lucy Punch is completely negated by Robert Webb’s phoned in performance, which seems like a vacuum of any recognisably human emotion.
The Wedding Video is almost entirely depicted through the lens of Raif’s camera, with “home video”-style transitions and titles popping up every now and then throughout, as though to remind you of the fact that the reason the film looks terrible is because it is meant to. The home video construction of the film leads to ‘hilarious’ moments throughout where sound-guy Roger (Matt Berry) is caught in the frame boom-pole in hand which might have been funny had it not happened about 5 times more than necessary throughout.
It’s worth mentioning that while IMDb classes this film as a Comedy, I failed to laugh once throughout. Early on, the film makes frail gestures at being ironic and edgy, depicting a group of upper-class Brits at a champagne tasting for the benefit of children who have suffered from the effects of Alcohol Abuse. Har har har! Other comedic highlights included control-freak mother of the bride, Alex (Harriet Walter) walking in on someone using the bathroom. Comedy gold! Ugh.
The home video device has been used in a good few genres at this point, but it is undoubtedly at its most effective in the horror genre. The Blair Witch Project is perhaps the most-referenced film in this style, where the shaky-cam and handheld aesthetic helped to build tension and envelope the viewer in the action. None of these effects translate to The Wedding Video and what is more frustrating is that the film’s depiction of handheld breaks down completely at times. For instance, in a number of vlog-style shots which occur throughout, Raif is directly addressing a stationary camera alone in his room. Halfway through these sequences another character will enter the scene and the camera focus pulls to bring them into view with seemingly nobody operating the camera. Spooky! There is also copious amounts of extremely-obvious ADR dubbing which makes no sense whatsoever. In one particularly important scene between Raif and Saskia, sound-guy Roger films an encounter between the two and manages to get perfect audio through a double-glazed window with no microphone. He must be a wizard!
The Wedding Video is a lazy, problematic and utterly dull affair. The narrative is predictable, the acting is uninspired and the humour is non-existant. Oh, and it uses The Darkness’ I Believe in a Thing Called Love as its finale piece, which only hammers home how completely out of touch with the rest of the world the film is. Avoid.