Starring: Martin Freeman, Jessica Stevenson, Stephen Mangan, Meredith MacNeill, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Jimmy Carr, Vincent Franklin, Jason Watkins
Director: Debbie Isitt
Whenever a filmmaker effectively mimics the style of another director, it’s usually called stealing, but when they fail, it’s much worse. In fact, it’s pretty close to heresy, and though no one has even come close to matching the success of mockumentary extraordinaire Christopher Guest, the fact that Debbie Isitt even believes she has a chance is absolute lunacy. Her latest film is an insipid parody of the wedding industry that slowly deteriorates with each improvised line, and seeing as how the film has no script whatsoever, it doesn’t take very long before you lose interest.
The concept is actually quite simple: a popular wedding magazine is holding a competition for the Most Original Wedding of the Year, with the winners receiving a brand new house and their dream ceremony. Organized by Confetti magazine editor Vivienne Kaye-Wiley (Felicity Montagu) and owner Antoni Clark (Jimmy Carr), the race is quickly narrowed down to just three couples – the Hollywood musical theme of Matt and Sam (the wonderful Martin Freeman and Jessica Stevenson, respectively), tennis enthusiasts Josef and Isabelle (Stephen Mangan, Meredith MacNeill), and naturists Michael and Joanna (Robert Webb, Olivia Colman) – and then placed in the hands of the country’s most flamboyant wedding planners, gay couple Archie Heron (Vincent Franklin) and Gregory Hough (Jason Watkins).
Unfortunately, only one of these wedding themes is actually creative (while the other two border on utter stupidity), and so when it comes down to announcing the winner, it isn’t much of a surprise. Even the other characters seem to know who’s going to win long before the final competition takes place, making their roles that much less important. Perhaps a little secrecy on the part of the director would have created a more believable cutthroat spirit between the couples. Then again, an actual script could have done wonders, as well as a little sensibility when casting the film. It’s pretty obvious from the start that Freeman (“The Office”) and Stevenson (“Spaced”) are the most recognizable actors of the bunch, if not also the most talented, but their experience is tragically wasted as the boring straight couple who never get a chance to shine comically.
The worst part of “Confetti,” however, is the mindless dialogue that’s been improvised in an attempt to make the events feel more authentic. These people aren’t writers – they’re actors, and you can hardly depend on them to create comedic moments right on the spot. Not even Christopher Guest would be dumb enough to try that (with the exception of Fred Willard, of course), which begs to ask the question: did anyone even do their homework?
The single-disc release of “Confetti” isn’t exactly jam-packed with bonus material, but there are a few extras that fans of the film will enjoy, including three alternate endings (“Choose Your Own Winners”) and nearly 25 minutes of additional footage (“Confetti Keeps Falling: More Tears and Tantrums”). Oddly enough, had the director used more of this deleted footage, the film would have scored more laughs during its limited run.