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Jilting Joe (1998)

Joe and Olivia are childhood sweethearts, about to embark on their wedding day. But, the so-called happiest day of their lives is over faster than they anticipated. Olivia doesn't quite ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oriana Bonet ...
Henry Naylor ...
Air Steward
Sean Baker ...
Site Manager
Janet Henfrey ...
Miss Doughty
Theresa Petts ...


Joe and Olivia are childhood sweethearts, about to embark on their wedding day. But, the so-called happiest day of their lives is over faster than they anticipated. Olivia doesn't quite make it up the aisle, and Joe is left jilted at the altar. A decade later, Olivia and Joe are walking up the aisle again, but this time it's as bridesmaid and best man. They haven't seen each other since and they have changed. Olivia wears pleated skirts and designs multi-storey carparks; Joe is older, wiser, sexier and married to a Spanish model, Mariana. But all is not as it seems. Will first love get a second chance? Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Release Date:

16 October 1998 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

A szökevény menyasszony  »

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User Reviews

Annoying and tiresome with no real effort to make the poor ideas work
1 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

Joe and Olivia grew up in different parts of the same house and it was perhaps inevitable that they would marry as childhood sweethearts. So in their late teens/early twenties they go for it in a wonderful church wedding. Sadly on the very morning Olivia's mother's fourth husband leaves her, bring her biological father back to walk her up the aisle. His rather bitter view of marriage hits home and Olivia flees the church in fear of being left within a short time. Ten years later Olivia is a successful career woman with no interest in love. A trip to her mother's house for the weekend though sees her meeting Joe and his new wife, who are staying with his father in the other side of the house.

In 2007 the BBC ran a season of British films which included many good British films that I had never seen or even heard of. Although the quality was varied mostly it was a good season and with some of them (eg A Way of Life) I took it as affirmation that there is plenty of talent out there and maybe the British film industry is not as doomed as we regularly are told it is. With this film though I was reminded why such articles and worries are common because although we have strong output, the high points are not enough to eclipse such drek as this film. Jilting Joe starts with a terribly cheap title sequence which gets by on the strength of the music more than anything else then from there trudges through a load of clichés that are "freshened up" by having them made as unconvincing and uninteresting as possible.

The script has no real charm and the characters are nowhere to be found in real life, making the story totally bland and banal. Orde-Powlett's script seems mostly to blame but Zeff's delivery is also poor and he seems unable to do anything of value here. With all this supporting them, it is no surprise that the cast can do nothing but few help themselves much either. Purefoy is poor and both he and Somerville are unconvincing as individuals and together – the only thing they made me believe was that they were annoying to the point of needing a slap. Wilkinson is sturdy as a presence but brings out little with his character while cameos from Bates and Lucas offer very little.

Overall then this is a very bland and banal romantic comedy that takes a contrived collection of situations and scenarios and puts in almost no effort to make it work.

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