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True Love Review

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★★★★★

The business of wedding preparations has inspired a number of films over the years, presumably because for so many people The Wedding does take on a life of its own and becomes so much bigger than the individuals concerned. And here, as so often before, Bronx betrothed Mikey and Donna are sucked into a maelstrom of bridesmaids' frocks, catering disputes, weird gifts, stag revels, fraying nerves, second thoughts and mothers running amok. Award-winning NYU graduate Nancy Savoca's debut feature as director and co-writer - a modest affair made back in 1989 - is, however, a refreshing take on this nuptial business, a vivid, highly realistic ensemble piece that amuses and touches in roughly equal measure.

A cautionary yarn for sure, True Love plays on romance versus reality and the irreconcilable points of view of the youthful couple. Donna's expectations are for a by-the-books marriage; to her way of thinking, she should come first with Mikey. To his, lust for Donna is one satisfactory part of life, but running around with his buddies has equal weight. Both Sciorra and the baby-faced Eldard (who looks like a brawnier version of Tom Hulce) make attractive, sympathetic characters, and the tightly-knit Italian-American working class circle around them makes for a noisy, funny, painfully true to life crowd.

There are plenty of good episodes here, from the bickering over the wedding party's colour co-ordination to Mikey's oblivious monkey business and beer-as-usual behaviour, while everything threatens to go horribly wrong in the almost obligatory but very well done tears in the ladies' room scene. How it all comes out should be unexpected; suffice to say it isn't pat.