by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
Jessica Stevenson as SAM
Martin Freeman as MATT
Meredith MacNeill as ISABELLE
Stephen Mangan as JOSEF
Robert Webb as MICHAEL
Olivia Colman as JOANNA
Vincent Franklin as ARCHIE
Jason Watkins as GREGORY
Felicity Montagu as VIVIENNE
Jimmy Carr as ANTONI
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Directed by: Debbie Isitt
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I’ve always had a fondness for mockumentaries. Ever since I saw “This Is Spinal Tap” in high school, I loved this format. It’s really one of the most fun things to make and to watch. Actors adore them because they can completely become the character and not have to worry about hitting marks and getting lines completely correct. Directors love them because they can let the mayhem happen and clean everything up in the editing room.
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The king of mockumentaries is Christopher Guest. While his latest film “For Your Consideration” wasn’t nearly as good as his others, you can’t beat “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind.”
Contrary to what the indie filmmaker armed with a MiniDV camera thinks, mockumentaries aren’t necessarily cheap or easy to make. “Confetti” is a great illustration of this. It’s got a decent budget, staging three weddings at once with plenty of props and extras. It’s also hard to predict whether all the dialogue will be funny.
“Confetti” follows a fictional bridal magazine that plans to give an award for the best wedding of the year. The editors narrow their finalists down to three couples, each with a different theme. One couple wants a tennis/Wimbledon theme. Another wants their wedding to mirror a Broadway musical. The final couple are naturists and plan to do their wedding in the buff.
Each couple has its quirks. While the musical couple is sweet, the bride cannot carry a tune. The tennis couple are overly competitive and completely abrasive. The naturists are a bit daft, and the bride isn’t as comfortable in the nude as her fiancé is.
This is the set-up for “Confetti,” and the hilarity is meant to ensue. While there are funny moments, I would hardly call them moments of hilarity. It’s a grand illustration of what can go wrong with a mockumentary. While the situations are pretty funny and the actors are committed, they’re not ripe with hilarity.
What makes Christopher Guest and company so brilliant is that they work together like a well-oiled machine. The actors in “Confetti” are fine performers, but they just don’t have the comfort level needed to put together a seamless mockumentary. Plus, they’re not overt comedians, and the humor is sometimes so subtle that we lose it.
Still, there are some great moments in the film. You can’t help but find yourself rooting for one couple or another to win. And anyone who has gone through the nightmare that can be a wedding should appreciate all the problems, pitfalls and insanity that can arise in the process.
The DVD comes with a ridiculous number of deleted scenes, which aren’t always that funny. It’s a lot of film form the cutting room floor, which is always numerous in a mockumentary. But the highlight of the DVD is an opportunity for the viewer to choose their own winner of the contest. While one was selected for the release version, all three winners were filmed. It gives an interesting insight into how things can change in a movie before it’s release.
“Confetti” isn’t a bad film. It’s definitely worth a rental if you’re into mockumentaries or British comedy.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Spanish and French language tracks. Spanish subtitles. English subtitles for the hearing impaired.