Magazine article The Spectator

Hitched and Hooked

Magazine article The Spectator

Hitched and Hooked

Article excerpt

Confetti 15, selected cinemas

I don't know quite what came over me during the screening of Confetti. I was well prepared: I had curled my lip and rolled my eyes at the daft poster on the Tube; I had sighed and shaken my head over the British obsession with weddings -- and films about weddings; before the lights went down, as I read about the concept in the production notes (three engaged couples enter a magazine's 'Most Original Wedding' competition in the hope of winning a Dream Home), I felt my heart travel bootwards, and I checked the number of minutes I'd be expected to stay inmyseat. . .

. . . But ten minutes later, I was laughing.

And laughing a lot.

The film is shot documentary-style, in the manner of one of Christopher Guest's (Best In Show, A Mighty Wind) or of The Office. It is a conceit which works perfectly. Oddly enough, the film is all the better for being more like television than a movie. It is freed from the dutiful dreariness of British cinema, and inhabits the distinctly unusual, and rewarding, arena of British television comedy.

The six competition finalists are followed through a weekly countdown to their big day, which is being orchestrated not only by the magazine's bossy editor Vivien (Felicity Montagu) and its odious owner Antoni (Jimmy Carr) but also by a pair of wedding planners (Jason Watkins and Vincent Franklin). While the wedding planners -- themselves a couple -- do their best to fulfil the dreams of the contestants, the magazine attempts to stifle them (having chosen one couple's naturist concept, they then refuse to allow the couple to be wed in the nude. 'No one wants to see her muff, ' says Antoni firmly). The other themes in the competition are 'Wimbledon' and 'Broadway musical'. I know it sounds like a stinker, but by gosh it's hilarious.

What makes the picture is the acting, and what makes the acting is the confidence and the imagination of the director (Debbie Isitt). Martin Freeman (The Office), Jessica Stevenson (Spaced, The Royle Family), Stephen Mangan (Green Wing), Robert Webb (Peep Show) and Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Green Wing) are some of the funniest actors on television -- if you don't watch television, you'll just have to believe me. All the dialogue is improvised, which could have been the worst decision the director made, but turns out to have been her best. …

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