Review: Love Wedding Repeat
This film hinges on a premise of "what could have been".
Fitting, because the film itself could have been brilliant.
Written and directed by Dean Craig, who was behind both UK and US versions of Death At A Funeral, his skill is in ensemble comedies of errors/disasters. Both incarnations of Funeral are filled with laughs.
Set at a summer wedding in a beautiful Italian castle, with two great-looking leads in Sam Claflin and Olivia Munn, Love Wedding Repeat is is one of those rare Netflix films that looks like it could have been a cinema release.
Indeed, during these days of stay at home and no travel, Italy looks even more beautiful.
The central idea is that an uninvited guest could upset the bride's day – and life – and a misplaced spiked glass of champagne causes the worst wedding day ever.
Unfortunately, most of the characters just aren't funny enough to captivate, often annoying or just too broad to be believable, like rejects from one of Richard Curtis' more recent comedies.
Too often, the F-bomb is liberally and lazily used as a punchline to no effect.
Some gags are too goofy, some just go on and on.
A lot of it is cringe comedy, but for that to work, you have to feel something for the characters, and these are just single-trait cutouts.
Claflin's Jack is nice but bland and shackled by the ghosts of Hugh Grants past. Munn, as war journalist Dina, a talented comic actress is not given much more to do than just sit there and be the object of Claflin's desire.
But the chemistry isn't quite there.
It's especially hard to buy that Claflin is so shy around Munn.
It proves there's a fine line between a rom-com making you will a couple to step up, find courage and realise they should be together – and it making you roll your eyes and groan "Get on with it!".
And some supposedly romantic gestures – especially one moment with Claflin at the end – are the behaviour of a psychopath and if it was reality, bright red relationship-ending flags.
Truly bizarre is the film's sudden twist.
The title should have been the giveaway (a play on Edge Of Tomorrow's tagline/alternative title), but it was still a surprise when over an hour in, time resets to see if a few changes would bring a happier result to the nuptials. And this is for no particular reason other than Dame Judi Dench's voiceover deems it to be.
A potentially interesting idea, but one that comes too late in the game and does little to improve things.
Those not reviewing the film may well have switched off by then.