Nigel Cole’s latest comic offering draws together a jolly of British comedians in The Wedding Video (2012), a light-hearted prolonged snub at the highs and lows of planning a wedding, starring Lucy Punch, Robert Webb and Rufus Hound. Hound plays Raif, a man with a very unique sense of humour, flying back from his travels for his brother Tim’s wedding to seemingly posh Cheshire gal, Saskia (Punch).
Upon arrival Raif realises that Saskia is in fact the hell-raising troubled teen of the comprehensive they both attended. As his gift to the happy couple Raif decides to make a no-holds-barred documentary leading up to the big day. As the moment of matrimony approaches it is quickly revealed that things are going far from to plan and that the happy couple might not be so loved up as first appeared.
The Wedding Video sees Cole collaborate once again with Tim Firth, but this time around the central concept of the documentary stagnates much of the comedy and plot. As always with films using such a device, the hook of the idea rapidly becomes redundant, falling by the wayside when a much needed plot point needs to occur. This break away from the doc-style results in the audience wondering how this footage could have been achieved, distracting completely from the plot.
To make matters worse, the comedy is never hearty enough to be truly enjoyable, only managing a chain reaction of titters at best. You can’t help but think that this is a reboot of Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) but with BBC Three level humour, where watered down jokes about class and general snobbery flow like cheap champagne at a women’s charity social.
Major problems aside, there are moments when The Wedding Video just makes it into heart-warming territory. This is down to Hound and Punch’s performances who, when given the chance to act, (as opposed to buffoon around in a series of ‘comic’ situations) shine. Hound gives an impassioned performance towards the conclusion of the film that shows he is no cheap comic but a credible actor. Sadly this cannot be claimed for the majority of the cast who are woefully under-used. This includes the superb Miriam Margoyles whose character, the continually critical grandmother of Saskia, is given far from enough screen time.
With a series of nail-bitingly bad jokes and cheap shots at class divides, even the isn’t-it-so-British quality can’t quite save The Wedding Video. But it will leave you with a taste to see what Hound might be capable of given the right material and director.