The Wedding Tackle


Snookered. Hal (Purefoy) strikes a pose while chatting to Salty (Stuke).
dir Rami Dvir scr Nigel Horne
with Adrian Dunbar, James Purefoy, Tony Slattery, Neil Sluke, Susan Vidler, Victoria Smurfit, Leslie Grantham, Amanda Redman, Martin Armstrong, Sara Stockbridge, Al Hunter Ashton, Roger Gartland
00/UK 2 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Yet another British rom-com centred on a marriage ceremony, this time a week before the event ... on a fateful stag weekend. If the mere subject matter isn't enough to elicit a weary sigh, perhaps the film's title will. Or the fact that The Wedding Tackle is a rather unambitious, unoriginal piece of work.

Hal and Vinni (Purefoy and Vidler) are the happy couple. Or are they? On the weekend of the stag night, Hal's friends (Dunbar, Slattery and Sluke) all seem to be trying to sabotage the nuptials. And Vinni's friends (Smurfit and Redman) aren't any better. And as the various secrets come to light we realist that Hal and Vinni aren't too keen on it either. All of these people are tied together in a dangerous web of sexual politics, secret longing and even more secretive affairs that only go to show how some people jettison their morals when physical attraction takes over. The problem is that as their inter-relationships descend in to chaos, we can't help feeling like they're all getting what they deserve.

No, there's not a single character we identify with or care about. And this is the main flaw in the script, which at least does feature some good dialog. The other flaw is its farcical structure, which (a) simply isn't funny, (b) doesn't hold together at all and (c) never unravels its central mystery. But maybe these are the fault of director Dvir, who gives the whole thing a cheesily amateurish feel, complete with a low-rent '80s TV-movie soundtrack littered with Lulu and Dusty Springfield tracks that jar with the subject matter. Maybe it's because the actors, no matter how they try, don't seem to like their characters any more than we do. It's not that this is a bad film ... it's merely weak, ineptly made and ultimately trite. Next!

[15--adult themes and situations, language] 10.Aug.00
UK release 11.Aug.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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