Film review | The Wedding Video – The found-footage genre heads down the aisle

The Wedding Video - Robert Webb & Lucy Punch

The found-footage gimmick has become a tired cliché in the horror genre but it receives a new jolt of energy in sprightly romantic comedy The Wedding Video thanks to the comic spark provided by a clutch of big-and-small screen British stars including Rufus Hound, Lucy Punch, Robert Webb and Harriet Walter.

The chap wielding the camera is Hound’s Raif, slacker brother to Webb’s strait-laced, soon-to-be-married Tim. Returning from four years of travelling to act as his brother’s best man, Raif decides to film the wedding preparations, which become ever more elaborate and awkward as the big day approaches. Tim, it transpires, is marrying into Cheshire high society and his fiancée Saskia (Punch) just happens to be the former teenage rebel Raif idolised at school.

As events spiral out of control, the strain of squeezing everything into the film’s home-movie conceit sometimes shows, but screenwriter Tim Firth and director Nigel Cole (who previously worked together on 2003’s Calendar Girls) have fun sending up nouveau-riche extravagance and the cast deliver ripe comic performances.

Strip back the satire, though, and the film’s heart is surprisingly sweet. They may behave badly or madly, but the leading characters are good sorts deep down – even Walter’s socially pushy and controlling mother of the bride.

On general release from Friday 17th August.

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