Smack the Pony’s Sally Phillips has been a trusty supporting player on the big screen in a number of British rom-coms – you may remember her as Shazza in the Bridget Jones films – but here she turns her talents to screenwriting for this battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy starring David Tennant, Kelly MacDonald and Alice Eve.
Tennant plays a diffident English author, James Arber, who is implausibly engaged to the biggest celebrity on the planet, Eve’s American film star Lara Tyler. After a persistent paparazzo sabotages their nuptials, Lara decides to re-locate the wedding away from the reach of the press to the sleepy Scottish island that was the setting for the book that won her heart, James’s novel The Ornithologist’s Wife. When the pesky snapper turns up there too, McDonald’s romance-bruised local girl, Katie, gets roped in to act as a decoy and throw the press off the scent – but things don’t exactly go to plan.
With its mismatched pair who get unwillingly yoked together, fight like cat and dog, and then fall in love, The Decoy Bride is visiting very familiar rom-com territory, but I wouldn’t make the detour this time. Phillips supplies the odd sharp line (love-shy Katie describes herself as a ‘man-vegan’) but the clumsily contrived plot and a lack of spark between McDonald (engagingly feisty) and Tennant (surprisingly ill at ease) send the film fatally off course.
On general release in cinemas from Friday 9th March.
Released on DVD by Entertainment One on Monday 12th.
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