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‘The Wedding Party’ (review)

Produced by Matthew Patrick Braun,
Ryan Hawkins, Anthony Hays, James Lentzsch

Written and Directed by Thane Economou
Starring Blake Lee, Allison Paige, Moses Storm,
Molly Burnett, Kat Palardy, Brian Thomas Smith, Ziah Colon, Joel Johnstone, Meg Cionni

 

This is the story of two films. One is technically brilliant and one is extremely disappointing.

In a film described as a rom-com there is nothing particularly romantic or funny. Ned (Blake Lee) leads a professional cast through the disastrous happenings of his best friend’s wedding. This film combines every romantic comedy cliche in history and adds nothing to the equation. The cast are all pros, but it is clear they had almost nothing to work with.

Here is just a partial list of some of the things you will experience watching this film:

  1. Unrequited love
  2. Accidental over-indulgence in Valium.
  3. Purposeful over-indulgence in alcohol
  4. A toupee gag
  5. Food poisoning
  6. Love/Hate exes
  7. Artificial time deadlines
  8. Cake issues
  9. Foppish brother in law
  10. Seething father of the bride
  11. Guest neither side is sure if they own
  12. Mildly creepy swingers gag

Does any of this sound original to you?

Me either. It doesn’t matter though. There is nothing wrong with being unoriginal if you are funny, or thoughtful, or sweet in a way that the audience hasn’t seen before. There is nothing wrong with being unoriginal in your execution if your characters are easy to like, love or feel sympathy for.

Unfortunately there is very little to like in the characters or the script.

However!!!

While Thane Economou’s writing leaves something to be desired, his direction is excellent. This film is shot in a continuous 119 minute take. The technical complexity of that sort of feat can’t be understated. It was impossible to ignore the impressive ballet like movement of the camera from one are of the set to another while following the actors. The film strategically slides to interior shots as the crew frantically must have prepared for a real time return to the external. The choreography that must have gone into the preparation is really worth thinking about. Shifts in actor position, lighting, camera, framing and more without exposing the crew who was consistently following setting up the next shot in real time… WOW!

The story of this film is not the story, but the making. If you care about things like that, this is definitely worth watching. If you care about a summer “rom-com” making you laugh and entertaining you, don’t bother.

2 out of 5 stars

The Wedding Party is now available on Digital HD

 

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