Wedding Party/C,C
Image/1997/91/ANA 1.77

     Freshman Aussie director Cheri Nowlan examines male/female relationships with an inconsistent flavor in The Wedding Party. Originally titled Thank God He Met Lizzie, the new title is a stinker and it’s very misleading. No comment on the original title is necessary. Nowlan seems unsure of what direction or tone to take. The film explores thirty-something bachelor Guy Jamieson's two most significant relationships leading up to and including his wedding party to Lizzie, a doctor, Guy's dream girl. Many of the scenes do take place at the wedding party, where circumstances lead him to recall varied aspects of his tempestuous relationship with the unconventional Jenny.

A tempest in a teapot. ©Image

     The film is cut aggressively between the two relationships. Personally, I would have enjoyed a lot more Lizzie and less Jenny, though there is one Christmas tree decorating scene in the buff that plays very well. There are interesting motifs running through the film. Looking at life retrospectively often presents a different picture. The wedding humor is old, unimaginative and boring. 
    Richard Roxsburgh plays the pivotal role of Guy with little panache, emphasized by his character's stuttering uncertainty. Frances O'Connor, most recently the Mom in Steven Spielberg's A.I., is a dynamic screen presence as Jenny, but even her charisma fails to ignite the story. Cate Blanchett has the unenviable task of bringing Lizzie to life, and while she finds lots of humor in the character, her story is given the short shrift. 
     To make matters more difficult, I had trouble understanding a lot of the Australian accented dialogue. It was probably exacerbated by a poor sound track. The image was even less pleasing. Lots of soft, indistinct focus and a washed out color palette. Some of it was probably artistic intention, but for me it played mostly as pretension
     Includes good making of material featuring interviews with filmmaking principals. Dolby Digital 5:1 sound is set at too high a level. Even cut back, the sound is rather distorted. 







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