Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Breakup At A Wedding

Illustration for article titled Breakup At A Wedding

Comedies about disastrous weddings are a venerable tradition, and mock documentaries are now ubiquitous, so it was inevitable that somebody would eventually decide to combine the two. A no-budget indie featuring a cast of unknowns, Breakup At A Wedding is ostensibly the work of a rogue wedding-video professional (played by director and co-writer Victor Quinaz) who thinks he’s Scorsese, forever crowing about how this nutty ceremony will constitute his masterpiece. Behaving much like the film crew on The Office, he stalks the bride (Alison Fyhrie) and groom (Philip Quinaz) even when they explicitly say that they don’t want to be observed. And they frequently don’t, because on the night of the rehearsal, Fyhrie suddenly decides she doesn’t want to marry Quinaz after all. At the same time, though, she doesn’t want to disappoint all of the guests by canceling, especially since it’s too late to get their various deposits back. So Fyhrie and Quinaz jointly—and improbably—decide to go through with the ceremony and pretend to get married, invalidating their union simply by not signing the marriage license afterward.

Premises don’t get much dumber, but there’s the germ of a potentially strong idea here nonetheless—a “comedy of remarriage” (per scholar Stanley Cavell, writing about old Hollywood movies like The Awful Truth and The Philadelphia Story) in which the remarriage occurs simultaneously with the original marriage. V. Quinaz barely makes time to show Fyhrie and P. Quinaz rediscovering their love for each other through subterfuge and scheming, however. He’s far too busy engineering feeble jokes about, for example, Fyhrie’s stepmother, a Czech woman her dad found on MEELF.com, where MEELF stands for Mature Eastern European Lady Friends. (Pause for big laffs.) A wedding vow clumsily read from an iPhone—this was the plan back when the groom thought he was really getting married, mind you—includes a promise to make gluten-free nachos. The movie even gets Fyhrie doped out on medication during the ceremony, as if Sixteen Candles hadn’t beaten that gag into the ground almost three decades ago. Meanwhile, any rooting interest in the central lovers evaporates, as both seem so terminally stupid that the thought of them potentially having children together is frightening. Maybe their divorce proceedings will be hilarious.