Love Wedding Repeat promises itself to be a rom-com play on Groundhog Day, in which Jack (Sam Clafin) tries to save his sister’s wedding day from disaster. However, this film isn’t what it promises to be. It isn’t funny, it isn’t romantic, and most of all; it is so badly paced that it doesn’t even show many alternate versions of the same day.
One of the best examples of the ‘living the same day over and over’ trope in recent years can be found in the Netflix show Russian Doll, in which it proves triumphant, largely down to clever writing and a snappy pace – upwards of three versions of the same day happen per episode. The pace of Love Wedding Repeat, however, is all over the place. It’s slow and the scenes feel clunky and drawn out – as if the script were written for a short film but they only found out when they started filming that it should be a feature-length. Scene transitions are padded out with orchestral music and beautiful shots of Italy, which, while enjoyable to begin with, become repetitive and make the film feel choppy and disorganised. This poor editing makes whatever moments in the film that do prove somewhat touching or sweet, feel as though they are slotted into scenes oddly and therefore lose there meaning.
The film is quite obviously inspired by classic British rom-coms, especially Four Weddings and a Funeral. But the problem is, Four Weddings is successful because of its clever characters and the charm they all exude. The characters in Love Wedding Repeat, on the other hand, lack any depth whatsoever and are instantly forgettable – despite being played by well-established actors (Olivia Munn, Eleanor Tomlinson, etc). Some even, when the audience thinks they have them pegged, do complete 180 degree turns, with little or no explanation given. This also creates an ambivalence to the viewer – because pretty much all the characters are just one note, the audience doesn’t care if the guy and girl end up together. This is without a doubt the biggest crime a rom-com can commit.
The comedy, if it deserves that title, is terribly repetitive, with almost all of the ‘punchlines’ being related – in some form or another – to genitalia or toilet humour. However, there are some aspects of the film that help to redeem it somewhat. For example, it is refreshing in its attempts to call out creepy behaviour that in other rom-coms would be considered romantic. These few modern twists, as well as the gorgeous setting, earn the film some brownie points but don’t make up for such poor storytelling.
It would perhaps make a decent ‘background noise’ film, but Love Wedding Repeat does not deserve 100 minutes of a viewer’s unbroken attention; just watch an actual classic rom-com instead of watching one that is trying so desperately to be so.
Image: Movie DB