Love. Wedding. Repeat.
Jacob Richardson | 13/04/2020
A distinctly underwhelming rom-com farce.
Jack’s (Sam Claflin) sister Hayley (Eleanor Tomlinson) is getting married to her Italian husband-to-be. At the beautiful Roman wedding, Jack discovers that Hayley’s college friend Dina (Olivia Munn) is attending. Jack missed a moment with Dina 3 years ago, and is eager to rekindle their potential romance. However, fate seems set against him, when not only is he sat at a table with his ex-girlfriend Amanda (Freida Pinto), but a coked-up fling of Hayley’s called Marc (Jack Farthing), who is intent on ruining the wedding. While Jack tries to juggle his eclectic table, a mix-up with a plan to drug Marc and save the wedding threatens to throw everything awry.
Love. Wedding. Repeat. has a title that undoubtedly conveys a sort of Edge of Tomorrow vibe. Unlike that film, however, the central conceit here doesn’t have a lead consciously flitting between repeats of the same event - rather, this one has a voiceover that conveys the randomness of the seating plan, and runs two key alternatives. The first ends in disaster, with the second switching things up. This story structure feels ultimately like a waste - a burdensome structural constraint that never really feels needed or wanted; particularly when the original half of the film, the first iteration of the seating plan, feels entirely workable for the duration of a film.
From a cinematic perspective, this film feels like a low budget, shoddily tossed together afterthought. Most shots are wildly overexposed, giving the whole thing a ‘my uni film’ vibe. While the setting is undoubtedly beautiful at the wedding villa, the ‘in Rome’ shots feel consistently like an exceedingly well lit film set. The costuming, too, is horrid. Even the haircuts - Sam Claflin looks like a dorky 15 year old.
The storytelling on show here is also subpar. The script is constantly hamfisted, overwrought and tired. Dialogue is uninspired and insipid, and the humor is non-existent - even from those characters that are expressly designed with humor as the intent.
The saving grace is in the quality of talent from Claflin and Munn. They work wonders with horrid dialogue, an unflattering cinematic lens, and a story that gets less and less interesting by the minute. They can’t save this piece, but they make it better than the sum of its parts.
This is one movie you won’t want to repeat.