Love Wedding Repeat Movie Review: New Netflix Romcom is a Missed Opportunity
Love Wedding Repeat
Love Wedding Repeat
Director: Dean Craig
Cast: Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn
Based on the French film Plan De Table, Dean Craig’s Love Wedding Repeat on Netflix starts off with all the flair and promise of an enjoyable love story between Jack (Sam Claflin) and his sister’s friend Dina (Olivia Munn).
With the hint of an attempt to channel the cult film, Four Weddings & A Funeral, the opening scene has the two protagonists saying a reluctant goodbye after a chance weekend together. Just when it feels like Jack will express a romantic interest in Dina, fate interrupts and matters take a different turn.
Life moves on and Jack and Dina meet a couple of years later at Jack’s sister Hayley’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) wedding. Finally, the stage seems set for their love story to take off what with the romantic setting of the wedding in Italy.
In attendance are motley characters including a mothballed middle-aged man in a Scottish Kilt (Tim Key) and a glamorous Italian film director to add some colour to the romantic wedding.
As a precursor to what's in store, a narrator’s voice tells you that the outcome of everything is dependent on the seating plan at the lunch table where Jack intends to rekindle the romantic flame between him and Dina. However, the guest list on the said table is explosive, to say the least- with Jack’s ex-girlfriend Amanda (Freida Pinto) seated along with her fiancé Chaz (Allan Mustafa). To add to the confusion there is a last-minute entry of Marc (Jack Farthing) Hayley’s coked-up school flame, obsessed with her also assigned to the same table. Marc intends to put a spanner in the wedding works and Jack has been assigned by Hayley to ensure that he makes no trouble.
So far, Craig’s screenplay lends veracity to the omniscient narrator’s aforementioned brief quite well. But going further, despite the comic ingredients all being in place, the proceedings feel quite labored. And the humor is way too subtle for the madcap set up.
A lovable lead pair and sundry quirky side-characters are key to the success of a romantic comedy. Love Wedding Repeat, unfortunately, does not tick against that box. The lead pair despite their good looks lacks chemistry and neither of the two entirely win you over. If anything it is the goofy oddball side-characters like Joel Fry’s ball-of-nerves Bryan or Aisling Bea’s foot-in-the-mouth Rebbeca who get your attention. Even Freida Pinto as Amanda makes more of an impact than the leading lady. Unfortunately, with a lackluster script, even the potential of the supporting cast is never fully exploited.
Another weak link is the Groundhog-Day-like treatment of the film. The renewed outcome when the seating plan at the table is changed, as dictated by the oracle’s voice, seems to add to the confusion. The viewer is left wondering as to how the characters retrace their steps back from an initial unfortunate ending. What is the narrator really saying? Has the choice been made for the protagonists by chance or the hand of God? Or has the changed outcome just been thrown in to prolong the film and give it a happy ending?
Quite like the romantic fate of its protagonists, Love Wedding Repeat is riddled with too many missed opportunities, preventing the audiences from falling in love with the film.
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