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Genre: , ,

Cast: Martin Freeman, Jessica Stevenson, Stephen Mangan, Felicity Montagu, Jimmy Carr, Alison Steadman

Director: Debbie Isitt

Rated: R

Release Date: March 6th, 2007
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Overall Grade: B-


Review By: Staff


Actors always deserve a little more praise when instead of a "writing" credit a film contains a "conceived by" credit. If it's a good film, it means the actors have earned kudos for improvising around only a loose outline, and making it work.

In the case of Confetti, a British mockumentary, Christopher Guest style film conceived by and directed by Debbie Isitt, we start out with high expectations of the impressive cast only to be let down by the predictability of the dialogue. The story itself, one must say, is quite an admirable one ridiculing the chaos and senselessness of the billion dollar wedding industry.

The editor of top notch bridal magazine "Confetti," Vivienne Kay-Wylie (Felicity Montagu) has decided they must boost sales, and in an effort to enliven their pages decides to run a "Most Original Wedding of the Year" contest. After interviewing a great deal of crazy couples (with just as insane theme ideas for their weddings), they decide on three couples to compete.

Josef and Isabelle, a yuppie, tennis couple with unnaturally competitive temperaments (Stephen Mangan and Meredith MacNeill); Michael and Joanna, a naturist couple who live in a nudist colony, and who wear absolutely no clothing for most of the film (Robert Webb and Olivia Coleman) and Matt and Sam, a very passive couple who dreams of a Hollywood musical style wedding (Martin Freeman and Jessica Stevenson). The magazine has also hired the most famous wedding planners in England, Archibald Heron (Vincent Franklin) and Gregory Hough (Jason Watkins), who have their hands full training a musical theater couple who can't carry a tune, and convincing two naturists to keep their clothes on.

These contestants are all completely different, yet we don't seem to like or sympathize with any of them for the first half of the film. They're pretty much just being ridiculed, and we almost want them all to fail miserably. The competitively mad Josef and Isabelle kind of tire us out with the completely unnecessary jealousy fights between the South American tennis coach and Josef (although the first time they argue is slightly funny). The naturist husband, Michael, overkills the fact that it means a great deal to him to get married naked, and the musical theater couple is just slightly annoying. We have absolutely no emotional investment in any of these characters throughout most of the film. Then in the last third, the film hits us with all these character building scenes during which we're supposed to suddenly become supportive of these wackos. At this point though, I think we just stop caring.

All in all though, the last act in which the couples all get married at a theater-like reception, is actually really entertaining. I think I actually shed a tear at one point"¦in a good way. Funniest of all were Vincent Franklin and Jason Watkins who steal the show as the

wedding planners. I found myself begging for them to get back on the screen during dull moments.

This film had a lot of potential, and I think that's why it falls so flat. One goes into it with high expectations of the story and the actors, and although it did get a chuckle out of me here and there, it was obvious that the film was trying to be much funnier. I know that one has to account for the improvisation factor, but it has been done before, and it has been funny. There's a plethora of comedians out there who are known for improvising their lines and completely deviating from the script (Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell). Yet they manage to crack us up almost every time. Notice I said "almost". So maybe we shouldn't be so hard on these improvised nuptials, because all in all, I was never really bored. Yet I can't seem to compromise with the fact that I knew what was going to occur and what was going to be said during every second of the film.

Movie Grade: B-
Special Features Grade: C
Overall Grade: B-

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