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Movie Review

CASUAL

 Published: 12.08.20

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       MPAA: PG13

                Genre: Comedy. Romance.

This movie isn’t a complete disaster, but it definitely misses the mark

     RELEASE: 12.04.20

LOVE, WEDDINGS & OTHER DISASTERS (2020) 

OPENING THOUGHTS:

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters looked like it had some potential. It features some big names like Diane Keaton, Maggie Grace, Jeremy Irons, and even Jesse McCartney. It’s a multi-story movie with a few different plot lines all intertwined similar to Love Actually or New Year’s Eve. I was eager to see how Keaton and Irons were utilized and I was excited for a fun romantic comedy.

DIRECTION:

Dennis Dugan directed Love, Weddings & Other Disasters. You might know his name from the plethora of Adam Sandler movies he’s directed. Dugan is the mastermind behind some of Sandler’s good movies as well as a handful of Sandler’s bad ones. The disastrous Jack and Jill was helmed by Dugan, to give you a sense of what we’re working with here. To be fair, he has made some good movies like Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy. Even Grown Ups wasn’t awful. However, Dugan misses the mark here. The story has most of the ingredients to make it interesting and worth watching, they just somehow don’t connect. The scenes often seem stilted and awkward and Dugan doesn’t do anything interesting at all with the shots or the story. It’s not the worst movie Dugan’s directed, but it’s far from the best.

PLOT:

On the surface, the plot seems kind of interesting. A bunch of love stories focusing on people who work on weddings seems like an okay premise but the execution is lacking. For starters, the jokes are not funny. At all. The movie begins with a celebrity caterer played by Jeremy Irons who is set up on a blind date with an age-appropriate woman played by Diane Keaton. It turns out that Keaton is actually blind and in her first scene she proceeds to knock over a tower of champagne glasses. Are you laughing? I wasn’t. After that introduction we flit to another story involving a Boston man who is running for mayor (Dennis Staroselsky) who is constantly worrying about his public image and is soon to marry his infinitely more chill fiance (Caroline Portu). Other characters include the mayor’s wedding planner (Maggie Grace), a pair of friends in a band (Jesse McCartney and Diego Boneta), and a Duck boat tour guide (Andrew Bachelor). Oh, and let’s not forget the mayor’s deadbeat brother (Andy Goldenberg) who is chained to a Russian stripper (Melinda Hill) with ties to the mob. Chained is not a euphemism here, they are actually chained together for a reality television game show. There are a few different romantic stories going on in this plot but I truly didn’t care about a single one.

ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:

The only reason this section is getting a half popcorn is for Keaton and Irons. Their story was the only one I semi-cared about and Keaton delivered the only actually funny line in the whole movie. Irons leaves a note for her one morning and Keaton says, “A note! I’ve fallen in love with the dumbest man in history.” That’s the only time I was amused throughout the 90 minutes I watched this movie. Andrew Bachelor is supposed to be a hilarious tour guide on a duck boat but that’s a problem because his jokes aren’t funny. He does the best he can with the material, but the jokes are trite and not amusing. Maggie Grace puts in a decent performance as a disgruntled wedding planner who is plagued with being called the ‘Wedding Trasher’ after she parachutes into a wedding party and forces them all into a lake at the beginning of the movie. If that sounds lame reading it, trust me it doesn’t get better watching it on screen. Everyone is genuinely forgettable, particularly Melinda Hill’s performance as a Russian stripper. Her accent is noticeably bad and her storyline comes off as absolutely ridiculous which would be fine if it was amusing or endearing. Spoiler alert: it’s not. Basically, Keaton and Irons are the only memorable performances and even those are not very good.

VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:

The set design was very average. It was your typical run of the mill set and locations with your typical make-up and costuming. There is absolutely nothing to get excited about here but nothing so terrible that it deserves to be bashed.

MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:

The music is a bit interesting because several times throughout the movie, we cut away from the romantic relationships to a woman busking in the park. This woman happens to be Elle King who I enjoy very much as an artist. However, the musical interludes are very haphazard and instead of being charming the way the couple interludes are in When Harry Met Sally, it just comes across as odd and disjointed. The songs are supposed to coincide with what’s happening in the movie but like so many things about this movie it just doesn’t really work well. Elle King does her best and her voice sounds amazing, the music just falls a bit flat.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is a movie that is best watched from the comfort of your own home where you can either fast forward through the cringey moments or turn it off altogether. I highly recommend putting it on as background noise while you carry out other tasks, as it’s not all that engaging or compelling. I was a little disappointed but not all together surprised considering some of Dennis Dugan’s previous movies. The jokes aren’t funny, the story isn’t interesting, and the characters aren’t compelling. This movie isn’t a complete disaster, but it definitely misses the mark. 

LOVE, WEDDINGS & OTHER DISASTERS is Now Available In Theaters & VOD

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CONCLUSIVE VERDICT:

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