Amazon Prime’s botched rom-com basically feels like watching a bunch of talented actors drinking cheap red wine for 90 minutes.
A short, erratic, straight-to-stream piece of semi-fun content that tries to fit several different rom-coms into a single movie that doesn’t have the bandwidth (or interest) to mine any of them for mainstream romance or comedy sources. by Claire ScanlonThe people we hate at the weddingIt basically feels like watching a bunch of talented actors drinking cheap red wine for 90 minutes.
Some of them should be so lucky.
At one point, during what can only be described as the worst bachelorette party ever conceived in movies and/or in real life, kristen bell is dunked in the River Thames on a crisp autumn afternoon while wearing nothing but an American flag bikini (and that’s prior to activity goes wrong). In another, Ben Platt gets mad at iconic “No Fear, No Die” star Isaach de Bankolé out of spite, which isn’t a sentence he expected to write.
These are the kind of scenes that make you hope the film’s cast is having more fun than its characters, and that Scanlon, whose “Set it Up” convincingly promised streamers could spark a rom-com renaissance, is You will recover from this with one take. in the genre that rewards his sly comedic timing with stronger material.
Adapted with full hacksaw grace from Grant Ginder’s beach read of the same name (the script is credited to “Deadpool 3” writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin), “The People We Hate at the Wedding” supposedly tells the story of a woman named Donna (allison janey) who sees the impending nuptials of his eldest daughter as his last chance to reunite his estranged children. Donna is actually given little thought in a movie that tries to split the difference between a sitcom-like ensemble and a “Love, Actually”-sized patchwork and ends up feeling like a loose collection of B-plots. loosely related that are framed. fairytale-like for some reason (like many of the choices here, that one might have been fun if the movie really committed to it).
But it all starts with Donna. Her first husband was an affable and wealthy Frenchman (from Bankolé, in a role that makes absolute minimal use of her talents), who cheated on her with her nanny. Her second husband wasn’t as memorable, but he left her with two fighting sons before he died, who grew up resentful of her older half-sister, Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), for being elegant and perfect and living in London. while they were mediocre and mediocre and stuck in generic American cities.
Neither Alice (Bell) nor Paul (Platt) have any natural interest in flying across the pond to watch their older brother walk down the aisle, but fate gives each of them a compelling reason. For Alice, the trip offers a chance to spend some quality time alone with the boss she normally has to bolt in the office closet (Jorma Taccone), time away from the annoying wife and baby that keep her from committing to her. . Unfortunately, it’s delayed at the last minute and Bell finds himself flirting with a cute jerk named Dennis (Dustin Milligan) in business class. It starts off with the whole “’Paddington’ is really good” routine, in case you couldn’t tell right away who it would end up with, and then they share a post-coital breakfast that would satisfy Reynolds Woodcock (a visual joke). that leaves Bell just enough room to squeeze in a single line so good it leaves you well aware of the script’s missed opportunities to be funny.)
For Paul, Eloise’s wedding coincides perfectly with the unpaid leave he is forced to take from his ridiculous job as an assistant to an aversion therapist, and his adventure-seeking boyfriend Dominic (Karan Soni) is happy to tag along. Dominic’s laid-back manner on the trip could be due to the sexually available old friend waiting for the duo in London, a handsome older man who appears in the middle of a scene. It isn’t long before the guy is using the topless Paul as human furniture during an ill-conceived threesome with the couple.
That visual gag, thorny but confident in a way that vibrates with the songs Le Tigre and Wet Leg littering the soundtrack, comes across as typical of a film that flirts with an edginess it’s too fuzzy to commit to. All of Alice and Paul’s personalities are defined by the deep pains that “The People We Hate at the Wedding” alludes to without really touching on them, while their entire sibling bond is expressed through the kind of thoughtful sarcasm that modern screenwriters they forget that the public can provide for itself (for example, Alice saying “that sounds nice and normal” when Paul tells her something that doesn’t actually sound nice or normal).
Bell and company. they’re able to squeeze the dialogue for a little extra flavor whenever the lines are a little more forgiving (she has a wonderfully dry response to the aforementioned breakfast feast), and there’s a solid gag about an oblivious wedding guest who It keeps showing up in the worst places at the best possible times, but true warmth or charm are few and far between. “The People We Hate at the Wedding” tends to work best when it forces Donna’s family together so she can work out some of the storm of shared family resentments between them…although it barely scratches the surface of what those might be. resentments.
The climactic meeting at a London Taco Bell suggests that a mutual fear of rejection has terrified everyone into a self-fulfilling prophecy of estrangement, but that angle doesn’t adequately explain why only Alice and Paul are so committed to being the worst people. at the wedding, and possibly on the surface of the Earth.
Choosing to focus on the two most annoying characters has the added effect of forcing Donna to the margins of her own story, while also reducing Eloise to a nervous insignificance for long periods of time, a convenient way for this film to be. fully suit. ignore the optics or the implications or the potential comedy of pitting the black and white sides of her family against each other (or even acknowledge that she’s doing that). It’s par for the course in a throwaway rom-com to just want to get through the ceremony without messing things up, and inevitably can’t even make it.
“The People We Hate at the Wedding” will be available to stream on Prime Video starting Friday, November 18.