Review by Sean Boelman
Written and directed by Dean Craig (writer of Death at a Funeral), Love Wedding Repeat promises a romantic comedy variation on the Run Lola Run concept (itself a twist on the Groundhog Day trope). However, since Craig doesn’t take full advantage of his premise, the film ends up being little more than a pedestrian romantic comedy.
The movie takes place at a wedding as alternate versions of the event unfold, a man having to deal with his sister’s former boyfriend hoping to ruin her wedding, an angry ex-girlfriend, and the girl of his dreams. Without the film’s gimmick, it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill wedding rom-com, albeit one with relatively witty dialogue.
That said, the gimmick of the movie doesn’t fully work. There is something to be found in the premise about fate and the way in which people are united by it (as communicated by an omniscient narration from Penny Ryder), but this feels like an afterthought to justify the structure more than anything else.
A majority of the film’s runtime is dedicated to the first variation of the events, and while this is commonplace for most versions of this trope, there are only two real variations of any substance. The rest are relegated to a montage in the middle of the movie and an end credits sequence. These moments are enjoyable, but it would have been nice to see them in their expanded form.
Perhaps the film’s biggest weakness is its character development. Even though the characters are charming, they are very archetypal and have about as much depth as the movie’s exploration of its themes. Granted, this is an issue that goes hand-in-hand with large ensemble comedies such as this, but that doesn’t change the fact that the film’s arcs feel very shallow.
That said, the cast assembled for the movie is very impressive, and they do a very good job in their roles. Sam Claflin plays the lead in the film, and he is as charming as ever. Standouts in the supporting cast include Eleanor Tomlinson, Joel Fry, and Freida Pinto, all of whom add their own comedic touch to the movie. The only person in the cast who feels underused is Olivia Munn.
On a technical level, the film is solid, the editing and cinematography doing what needs to be done in order to execute the gimmick. Props should be given to Craig for trying to do something more stylistically ambitious than the average romantic comedy, but without the script to go along with it, these attempts don’t often have much effect.
Love Wedding Repeat is entertaining enough, but for the more ambitious thing that it hopes to be, it doesn’t quite deliver. Still, the charming cast makes it worth a stream in this time in which entertainment options are increasingly scarce.
Love Wedding Repeat is now streaming on Netflix.