Love Wedding Repeat Review

Love Wedding Repeat
At his sister Hayley’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) wedding in Italy, Jack (Sam Claflin) reconnects with former love Dina (Olivia Munn). Yet his romantic aspirations are complicated by an unwanted interloper (Jack Farthing), a dopey ‘man’ of honour (Joel Fry), his angry ex (Freida Pinto) and a sleeping potion as different versions of the same day unfold.

by Ian Freer |
Published on
Release Date:

10 Apr 2020

Original Title:

Love Wedding Repeat

Like that time period between the speeches and the dancing, Love Wedding Repeat is constantly a frustrating affair. Inspired by 2012 French flick Plan De Table, there is a delicious premise at the heart of writer-director Dean Craig’s film: it’s a romcom played as Edge Of Tomorrow, a ’90s Richard Curtis-style confection but with all the spice of time-line tricksiness. But sadly, it not only fails to capture the wit and emotional zap of weapons-grade Curtis, it also doesn’t deliver on the one unique idea in its arsenal.

Love Wedding Repeat

It starts promisingly enough. Following a prologue set in Rome where English structural engineer Jack (Sam Claflin) loses his nerve and fails to kiss American war journo Dina (Olivia Munn), friend of Jack’s sister Hayley (a winning Eleanor Tomlinson), we jump three years to the last’s wedding in a beautiful Italian idyll (if nothing else, Love Wedding Repeat serves up bridal porn to match any issue of ‘You And Your Nuptials’). The film starts as a recognisable wedding comedy, played out with embarrassing faux pas and awkward interactions, all set to a lovely playlist of classical faves (Debussy’s ‘Clair De Lune’ does a lot of heavy lifting in the romance department). So far, so Four Weddings.

Yet, as it goes on, it gets broader and less funny. Jack is tasked with keeping Hayley’s coked-up stalker Marc (Jack Farthing) from spoiling the ceremony by dropping a wad of heavy-duty sleeping medicine into his champers. But a group of Italian kids have swapped the place names at the “English” table, resulting in a switcheroo with the glasses and also a change in seating arrangements, kickstarting an alternative-reality gambit based around the notion of chance — a theme played out in a heavy-handed voiceover (“One bit of bad luck, and it all goes tits up”) by Penny Ryder, though you’d swear it’s Judi Dench.

Astonishingly, it takes an hour to get to the parallel-realities vibe, the film’s one novel twist. It first appears as a montage that cycles through different scenarios far too quickly (there’s more in the end credits), then a second half that slowly puts to rights the complications of the first half. In-between, Craig throws in lots of penis jokes — both types: length and girth — kilt-based shenanigans, mistaken blow-job scenarios, terminal-cancer gags and Freida Pinto head-butting. On the guest list, Yesterday scene-stealer Joel Fry stands out as “man” of honour Bryan, especially during his speech, while Tim Key as boring car-insurance salesman Sidney, Aisling Bea as skittish Rebecca and Allan Mustafa as Chaz, the boyfriend of Pinto’s Amanda — obsessed with the size of his manhood — all register. As the central couple, Claflin and Munn generate chemistry, the former flitting nicely between harried and charming and the latter adding personality to the ‘American Girl’ archetype. It’s a shame because, with better execution, Love Wedding Repeat might have ended up at the top table.

It’s Sliding Doors with place settings, but Love Wedding Repeat can’t make its time-loop conceit work (stick with About Time). Bouquets to the cast and production values; a quickie divorce from everything else.

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