Netflix’s latest attempt to crack the romantic comedy genre, Love Wedding Repeat, is only a brisk 100 minutes, and this may lead anyone to think, “It can not be that bad, I will give it a go and see”. Time might be better spent doing something else that takes 100 minutes. Maybe a long walk, shaving one’s own head or spending that time doing literally anything else.
Love Wedding Repeat is, technically, a film starring Sam Claflin and Olivia Munn centered around a seemingly fascinating concept. First thoughts range around, “Hey this is a great cast! Olivia Munn is fantastic and Sam Claflin was born for a Hugh Grant like RomCom role”. This is immediately backed up by Munn and Claflin’s characters, whose names are quickly forgotten, for they have a little bit of chemistry. Things look up after being set for a fun little film to exceed admittedly low expectations.
If there is anything to illustrate what goes wrong with the film from that point onward, the answer can be found with a running joke. During the entire runtime of this movie, there are 19 separate dick related jokes. This is a dick joke every 5 minutes of the movie. There is an entire sub-plot solely dedicated to one character’s penis. There is a struggle to know what counts as a single related joke because there are entire scenes that are one never-ending dick joke. One has to rewind constantly because they will lose track of this running gag.
This is truly an encapsulation of the comedy within the film. Aisling Bea, a hilariously fun comic, is utterly wasted. She is reduced to simply making a large number of these jokes and is forced into the ever most awkward romantic subplot. Joel Fry is the funniest part of the movie, and still, only evokes no more than 2 solitary chuckles. These are two incredibly funny actors. Aisling Bea is a rising star in British comedy. Joel Fry was an absolute scene-stealer in Yesterday. However, here they are outright squandered.
When trying to discuss the faults, it is difficult to figure out where to start. A big part of it, however, is simply the pure number of characters and subplots. All of these factors hinder the movie immensely. None of them enhances the main plot whatsoever. One spends each subplot thinking, “I just want to get back to the A-plot”. One also spends each scene of the A-plot thinking, “I simply do not care about these characters because I have barely seen them together”. If the movie had simply thought, “Do we really need this side plot on the Brides Brothers Ex-Girlfriends New Boyfriend’s insecurity over his penis? Or can we use the time to make the audience buy the core romance just that little bit more?”. The former is, unfortunately, an actual plot line.
The Netflix description of Love Wedding Repeat states, “Different versions of the same day unfold as Jack juggles difficult guests, unbridled chaos, and potential romance at his sister’s wedding”. Almost like Edge of Tomorrow meets Four Weddings and a Funeral. What resulted instead was American Pie meets Bride Wars. The concept revolves around attempts to stop a coked-up ex from ruining a wedding by spiking his drink and when meddling kids move the glasses around, the viewer sees what would happen with every place they could have put the drink. In theory, quite interesting, but in practice, it just leads to 30 minutes of the movie being wasted with a short “comedic” montage. The film shrugs its shoulders and carries on as normal after.
The film need only look to About Time, a RomCom classic, to see how this concept could have been used. This really could have been central to the plot, thus allowing the viewer to see more of the characters and get a deeper understanding of them – demonstrating the different fates each would take if placed in that position. Instead, one forgets about the concept until the movie has only 40 minutes left and is taken back about 4 steps with very few benefits.
The worst films are not classic “bad films” such as The Room, Birdemic, or Sharknado. If anyone went into those films expecting any more than what they got, they honestly only have themselves to blame. The films that properly annoy are the ones that could have been so much more. This is one of those movies. The cast is great, the concept is killer, but the execution is horrendous. It is simply so frustrating because one can feel that there is a good movie buried inside somewhere, underneath the bravado and infantile humor. One can only judge what they saw and that just might be Netflix’s worst attempt at a film since the company’s conception.