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With: Martin Freeman, Jessica Stevenson, Stephen Mangan, Meredith MacNeill, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Vincent Franklin, Jason Watkins, Felicity Montagu
Written by: Debbie Isitt
Directed by: Debbie Isitt
MPAA Rating: R for nudity and language
Running Time: 100
Date: 03/18/2013

Confetti (2006)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Big Fat Freak Weddings

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Remember the "Stonehenge" joke in This Is Spinal Tap (1984)? Imagine that joke, or something similar, stretched all the way out to the edges of a 100-minute movie, so thin that it's transparent.

Filmed in the "mockumentary" style pioneered by the still-unsurpassed Tap, Debbie Isitt's Confetti proposes to satirize something, but it doesn't quite know what. Certainly not the wedding industry, or the magazine (Confetti) that throws a "most original wedding" contest.

But the major problem with Confetti is that, like Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) and other bad examples, Isitt totally neglects her faux documentary format in favor of chasing the dream of likeable characters within a properly structured, rags-to-riches story arc. In other words, it breaks the prime directive of the mockumentary, in that its camera operators constantly find themselves in places that a real documentary crew would not.

The teddybear-like Martin Freeman (The Office, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) leads the ensemble cast as Matt, the humble fellow whose fiancée Sam (Jessica Stevenson) wants a Busby Berkeley-like musical wedding. Her mother is a pain and her sister wants to take over the choreography; his best friend is a wanker with a rock band who wants to contribute a dark, violent song to the proceedings.

Isabelle (Meredith MacNeill) and Josef (Stephen Mangan) are the insufferable tennis couple. Most of the jokes center on their flirty, Spanish tennis coach (Jesus de Miguel) and on Isabelle's nose ("she has the most extraordinary nostrils -- I can't take my eyes off them"). Isitt can't decide if she wants the audience to hate these shallow people or to feel sorry for them.

Alison Steadman and Robert Webb are the nudists, and most of their jokes revolve around the discomfort they cause others with their nakedness. The adorable -- and, of course, gay -- wedding planners Archie (Vincent Franklin) and Gregory (Jason Watkins) go a long way towards redeeming things. In one scene, Archie stares blankly, a smile plastered to his face, at the camera. Gregory looks over at him, regards him caringly, and very sweetly asks, "You're tired, aren't you?"

Testing the British capacity for awkward, embarrassing non-confrontations, Confetti does achieve a few of the sweet moments it aims for, especially Sam and Matt's musical number, but it breaks its vow to provide something sharp and funny. It may last the duration of a honeymoon, but its ultimate destination is not so much happily-ever-after as splitsville.

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