These stunning shots of Rome are pure torture right now.
Oh my God you guys, mark your calendars. An event has occurred that doesn’t happen very often: For the first time in a long time, I have come across a Netflix original movie that I didn’t absolutely loathe. Not necessarily loved, but didn’t absolutely loathe. Which, given my track record with Netflix originals, is a huge win in my book! Though Love Wedding Repeat (2020) is far from joining the pantheon of rom-coms I hold close to my heart, it’s still a surprisingly entertaining way to pass the afternoon. Is it going to live on as a beloved comedy movie? No, probably not. But did I have a good time laughing at the simple hilarity of this talented ensemble? Absolutely.
Written and directed by Dean Craig, Love Wedding Repeat is a remake of the french film, Plan de Table (2012). The movie follows Jack, the brother of Hayley, who just wants to make sure his sister’s wedding runs as smoothly as possible. But when Jack encounters unexpected obstacles such as a wedding crasher bent on ruining the day, the sudden appearance of his dream girl, a jealous ex-girlfriend, and a sleeping sedative, things don’t exactly go as planned. Alternate versions of the same day show how Jack juggles each of these and more, with varying degrees of success.
I’ve always appreciated when a movie takes place over the course of a single day. There’s something about that method of storytelling that makes the whole thing feel more self-contained and high-stakes. Oh boy, and are the stakes ever high in Love Wedding Repeat. Could you imagine an ex-boyfriend crashing your wedding day to tell everyone that you two slept together a couple weeks ago? And then trusting your brother will slip him a sedative to knock him out? Love Wedding Repeat is pure chaos and it’s fun as hell to watch. Having that chaos unfold against THE MOST gorgeous Italian wedding venue is a hilarious juxtaposition that captures the movie’s tone perfectly: unbridled mayhem unfolding at the most inopportune time.
At the centre of the mayhem is Jack, played by Sam Claflin. I’m more familiar with Claflin’s work in fantasy movies like Prates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), so seeing him in a comedic capacity was a treat for me. Claflin far from embarrasses himself, and provides each scene he’s in with a wonderful dose of manic energy. On the flip side, he’s able to reel in that energy and also deliver some lovely romantic moments with Olivia Munn, who plays Jack’s love interest, Dina. The pair compliment each other nicely and watching Jack and Dina’s romance alternate between succeeding and failing is a delight thanks to the talent and charisma of the actors. Actually, the entire ensemble of Love Wedding Repeat are quite fun.
Eleanor Tomlinson, Joel Fry, Freida Pinto, Aisling Bea and Tim Key are all fabulously funny, and kudos to the movie for being able to juggle all of these strong actors and give them each enough time to shine. That being said, it did feel like some of the more prominent comedic relief characters like Bea and Key were underutilized. Occasionally it felt like there were maybe two or three characters too many, and perhaps a better solution would have been to amalgamate a few characters into one.
The way the movie simultaneously handles these different characters and their varying relationships with each other gives Love Wedding Repeat an almost operatic or Shakespearean vibe. Comedic misunderstandings, romantic intentions, and general disasters mix and mash up the characters, constantly shuffling the cast like a deck of cards. The way Love Wedding Repeat doesn’t delve TOO deep into its characters, more using them for comedic effect than anything, helps things move along at a fresh, light, silly pace. I couldn’t believe it when I realized I was at the half hour mark of this hour and 40 minute movie.
I was fully invested in where the story was leading, how things would get resolved, and excited that I still had plenty of movie left to see how it would all play out. Spoiler, it’s bananas. Think of the worst things that could possibly happen at your wedding. Love Wedding Repeat uses them all and delivers a farcical comedy that’ll keep you laughing. Things got a little muddled at the end when the movie tries to have a deep emotional moment about love and I gotta say, it didn’t land. Attention future comedies: You don’t NEED to include a touching sentiment. It’s okay to be a flat-out comedy. Believe in your hilarity!
While we’re all stuck at home and no doubt giving out Netflix accounts a good workout, Love Wedding Repeat is a safe and entertaining way to pass an afternoon. It’s certainly better than Netflix’s last attempt, Coffee & Kareem (2020). By the way, check out my review for that movie here. Just the right amount of romantic and raunchy for anyone to enjoy, this movie goes down just like a piece of wedding cake: maybe not the best, but sweet enough, and more than fine in the moment.
Have you seen Love Wedding Repeat?
Let me know in the comments or on social media!