Review by Camden Ferrell
A Simple Wedding is the feature film directorial debut for Sara Zandieh. While this film has enough charm thanks to its loveable leads, it doesn’t fully realize its potential to stand out from other romantic comedies.
This movie follows Nousha, the only daughter to strict Iranian immigrants as she navigates a new relationship with Alex, a bisexual artist. Their relationship and hasty engagement lead to plenty of drama and culture clash that makes their wedding anything but simple. This genre of movie never really gets a lot of diversity, and the integration of combating cultures gives this film a narrative edge even if it isn’t properly utilized.
The script, which was co-written by Zandieh, is very witty for the first half of the film. Zandieh executes the meet cute in a really charming way, and it definitely gives its characters unique personalities. Unfortunately, the script becomes fairly clunk in the latter half of the film, and it doesn’t do too much to naturally develop its characters. It feels a little derivative and contrived at times even if it’s always well-intentioned.
The acting is very good from its leads. Tara Grammy gives a really great performance as Nousha. She embodies a confident spirit that is captivating, and she balances the simultaneous struggle with her culture with her newfound love really well. Christopher O’Shea plays off of Grammy really well as Alex. He is great in the awkward moments of the movie, and his character is really entertaining to watch especially when he shares a scene with Grammy.
The main flaw of this film is how it ignores its most valuable attributes. Within the first act, the movie delivers such progressive characters who don’t really exhibit those traits later on. The liberal beliefs of its characters are genuinely refreshing and comforting, but it’s a charm that isn’t utilized throughout the film. It loses its narrative edge by playing it too safe rather than leaning into its more daring values.
This movie also spends a lot of its time lingering in its second act. The chemistry and relationship of its characters is what works best in this movie, but it loses sight of that in its second act. It pulls you out of the personal story of the two leads, and it makes the film drag considerably. While some of these choices were narrative necessities, it just wasn’t executed properly.
However, the movie does still have a certain level of charm working in its favor. It has likeable leads, and an eccentric romance that still hits most of its beats. The supporting cast is mostly forgettable, but the performances of the leads definitely make up for it. By all means, this is a standard romantic comedy, and that’s not a bad thing, but it certainly had potential to break some new ground.
A Simple Wedding is a movie that will please those looking for a sweet and inconsequential romance film. It features some great performances, witty writing, but doesn’t always make the best narrative choices. However, it should more than suffice for some Valentine’s Day viewing.
A Simple Wedding comes out on VOD February 14th.