Confetti

2006, Movie, R, 100 mins

Review

CONFETTI
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Debbie Isitt's slight but sweet mockumentary, which revolves around a "most original wedding" competition sponsored by bridal magazine "Confetti," was improvised by its ensemble cast of U.K. comedy veterans. The competition is the brainchild of "Confetti" staffer Antoni (Jimmy Carr), and he and high-powered editrix Vivienne (Felicity Montagu) audition dozens of couples before settling on the six contestants. Each will be assisted in realizing their themed nuptials by wedding planners Archie and Gregory (Vincent Franklin, Jason Watkins), and the finished events, which will take place sequentially on adjacent stages, will be judged on concept and execution. The winners will get a new house and be featured on the cover of "Confetti." Mousy Sam (Jessica Stevenson) and Matt (Martin Freeman) want an old-fashioned musical-style wedding, despite the fact that she's tone-deaf. Ferociously competitive Josef (Stephen Mangan) and Isabelle (Meredith MacNeill) envision a tennis-themed ceremony. The most problematic concept belongs to naturists Michael (Robert Webb) and Johanna (Olivia Colman): For starters, since all the weddings have to be in the same place, they can't get married in the Midsummer Night's Dream-like glen they imagined. For another, they absolutely, positively cannot be naked. The stress of the 10-week preparations takes its toll on all three couples. Sam's meddling mother (Alison Steadman) and self-centered sister (Sarah Hadland), a cruise-ship dancer, butt in to such a degree that it looks as though Sam will wind up on the periphery of her own wedding. Josef, who's in desperate financial straits, becomes increasingly aggressive and controlling, while Isabelle is subtly bullied into a nose job to correct her flaring nostrils. Johanna, a newcomer to naturism who is battling lifelong body-image issues, finds herself at odds with militant, second-generation nudist Michael, who's determined that they will get married naked, no matter what anyone says. Archie and Vincent, who go into the project with some reservations, prove to be the couples' staunchest allies (the demanding, rude Isabelle and Josef rather less than the others) against the magazine's intrusions, and for all their fluttering and camping they prove surprisingly tough customers. Low-key, clever and sometimes surprisingly sharp, Isitt's comedy is kind to the couples and cruel to the commercial concerns that make getting married a stress-inducing exercise in one-upmanship. It's ripe for an American remake, given the popularity of reality TV shows like My Super Sweet 16 and Bridezillas, but it's hard to imagine a better cast than this ensemble. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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