New Release Review - The Wedding Video

Directed by: Nigel Cole
Starring: Lucy Punch, Miriam Margolyes, Robert Webb, Rufus Hound, Harriet Walter

The events leading to Punch and Webb's wedding are told through footage shot by best man Webb.
"We're trying to organize our wedding and you're treating it like it's some big party" Webb fumes at Punch in the movies one funny line. It's a line that condenses the message behind the film. The idea of a wedding ceremony is absurd when you think about it yet so many people become consumed by this ritual to the point where more work is often put into having a successful wedding than a successful marriage. It's an easy target for comedy but the writer of this, Tim Firth, seems clueless as to how to raise more than a handful of mild chortles from the subject.
The found footage genre has long been thought compatible only with horror. I could be mistaken but I think this is the first time it's been employed in the service of a comedy, if you discount mockumentaries like "Spinal Tap". The technique should fit the comedy genre like a glove as it gives film-makers a lot more options when it comes to provoking laughs. No longer do you need worry about breaking the fourth wall as the fourth wall conveniently doesn't exist therefore the audience can be addressed directly ala "Annie Hall". Director Cole never makes sufficient use of the tool he's employing and the handheld camera becomes less relevant as the film progresses. By the end you'll have forgotten this is meant to be a found footage film, and not because the story is gripping.
Britain has an abundance of good comic actors but a drought of decent comedy writers. Americans are often accused of lacking irony but I've yet to see British comedy that can compare to the likes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Frasier" and "The Larry Sanders Show" when it comes to writing which is both hilarious and sophisticated."The Wedding Video" sets out to be a witty critique of social norms and snobbery but lacks confidence in itself and it's audience, ultimately lowering itself to dick and bum jokes.
3/10

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