The Wedding Party

Wedding Party, The (Amanda Jane, 2010) aka Kin; Josh Lawson, Isabel Lucas, Steve Bisley, Rhonda Burchmore, Adam Zwar, Nadine Garner, Essie Davis, Geoff Paine, Kestie Morassi, Heather Mitchell; Bill Hunter's last onscreen appearance as the priest at the wedding; comedy drama; premiere MIFF, general Australian release 16 August 2012

Similar plot to Russian Doll (Stavros Kazantzidis, 2000) with an arranged marriage to a Russian. Great cast, who do well individually, but there's something wrong with this as a whole. As I saw each of the actors as being in their own film, I have to conclude that it was the director who didn't pull the whole thing together. I've seen every one of the principal cast do well in other films; I don't think this director got the best from any of them, Josh Lawson being the most obvious example. Essie Davis is wonderful in Burning Man (Jonathan Teplitzky, 2011, and brilliant in the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (TV) — but lethargic here. Isabel Lucas's Russian is so good I think it must be dubbed. Steve Bisley's worst role: he's a different character in every scene. Rhonda Burchmore has strayed in from the set of some musical comedy. Kestie Morassi is capable of intensity (Dirty Deeds, David Caesar, 2002, and of course Wolf Creek, Greg McLean, 2005), but is wasted as a romantic lead. Heather Mitchell is always good; and Nadine Garner is always not. It's sad to see Bill Hunter in his last film role: he's obviously unwell.

Rotten Tomatoes page

I don't think it's a film that aims very high and it sort of achieves what it aims to do, I think. I found it perfectly amiable. David Stratton, At the Movies

The improbabilities and sheer banality of Christine Bartlett's screenplay are almost overcome by the quality of the cast, but not quite. Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies

Shooting for a sassy mixture of quirk, interpersonal drama and character study, director Amanda Jane succeeds in constructing a competently made, unspectacular two hours of lightweight entertainment. It’s too long, a little muddled dramatically and very much a seen-it-before affair, but not bad. ... The humour strikes a good balance between good-natured and risque, and while the screenplay presents some thoughtful approaches to developing characters the relationships between them feel disconnected, like scattered dots on a partially rendered canvas. Luke Buckmaster, Crikey

Steve ... remains a loser for most of the film, and Josh Lawson seems to be attempting some sort of B grade channeling of a character that might have been created by Hugh Grant - with somewhat less charm. It's another crucial weakness of the film, making him an inept character and rather undefined; we can't manage to raise much sympathy for him, nor can we understand why Jacqui is so devoted to him. He is the one character who doesn't ring true. Andrew Urban, Urban Cinefile.

Amanda Jane manages the film's tone well, playing the story strands with a light touch and well sprinkled with humour. A light-weight date movie, charismatic performances and diverse story strands keep us engaged as we become entwined in all the complications of love and sex. After all, isn't that what makes the world go round? Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile.


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