Billy Connolly famously surmised, “Marriage is a wonderful invention. Then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.”
His cynical words would certainly strike a chord with the church-bound characters in The Wedding Video, an uproarious comedy of appalling manners that witnesses a relationship come apart at the seams through the lens of the best man’s omnipresent camera.
Nigel Cole’s film amuses and charms in equal measure, relying on the excellent comic timing of the ensemble British cast led by Rufus Hound, who makes his big screen debut.
Scriptwriter Tim Firth, of Calendar Girls fame, spares the characters few blushes as excitement and expectation turns to anguish and despair, laced with tender romance.
Shambolic oaf Raif (Hound) decides to make a video of his estranged brother’s forthcoming nuptials as a present to the bride and groom. “Buy a camera, press button, shoot wedding. It all sounded so simple,” Raif confides in voiceover.
Hound is an appealing narrator, who responds to one girl’s compliment about him being a good listener by confiding, ‘Compassion is nature’s way of helping ugly men find a partner.’ The laconic best man turns up at the door of his brother Tim (Robert Webb), determined to immortalise every aspect of the preparations.
The first surprise comes when Raif learns that Tim is engaged to Saskia (Lucy Punch), a booze-swigging wild child scourge of their school, now polished into a refined, young lady by her well-to-do Cheshire set mother, Alex (Harriet Walter).
Webb and Punch are well matched as the happy couple and Walter purses her lips with gusto as she heaps extravagance upon garish finishing touch to trump her rivals.