Ditzy farce in the time of a solemn family function became a popular mainstream sub-genre with the release of “Four Weddings And A Funeral” all those decades ago. Years later, writer Dean Craig successfully tapped the formula to set up the 2007 British comedy, “Death At A Funeral”, which was an instant winner. For his directorial debut “Love Wedding Repeat”, Craig tries re-hauling the formula all over again.
The film is pitched as a rom-com that tries serving up random slapstick to keep moving a very basic plot. Cokehead Marc (Jack Farthing) gatecrashes into the posh wedding reception of Hayley (Eleanor Tomlinson). They have had a fling of sorts in the past, so Marc is convinced that Hailey will readily walk out of her affluent marital bliss with him. Hayley tells her brother Jack (Sam Claflin) to discreetly take care of Marc before he becomes an embarrassment at the party. Of course, things will go wrong, leading to confusion and chaos aimed at garnering the laughs.
To heighten the merriment, the film delivers multiple endings. Alternative versions of the narrative push the story to a different climax each time, establishing how a minor quirk of fate can triggers off massively different outcomes.
This is not quite the sort of film you go in looking for intelligent entertainment. But at least “Four Weddings And A Funeral” – or even “Death At A Funeral” – had enough funny moments to sustain interest. The trouble with “Love Wedding Repeat” is the film never really takes off. A lazy screenplay tries fitting in the odd bursts of humour, ranging from the witty to the outright stupid, but these are too sporadic to sustain an overall sense of mirth.
In any case, a formula that seemed very funny 26 years ago in “Four Weddings And A Funeral”, somehow looks jaded now. Trends in comedy have changed, and writing smart comedies has moved a few paces since then. Writer-director Craig perhaps overlooked the fact.
A predominantly British cast, plus Freida Pinto in an interesting prop role, makes most of the sloppy writing that plays villain in this purportedly feel-good piece. There is something utterly shallow about the characters, which also makes them forgettable even before the final credits have rolled.
You would perhaps take back the gorgeous Italian castle where the wedding takes place, and which is the sole backdrop of the narrative. Specs of the rich operatic background score also resonate in the mind till long after. These, however, are not enough to salvage the film from its state of sheer boredom.
Netflix has just served up yet another mediocre original.
“Love Wedding Repeat” (Netflix film); Cast: Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn, Eleanor Tomlinson, Joel Fry, Jack Farthing, Freida Pinto; Direction: Dean Craig
–IANS, Vinayak Chakravorty