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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

excellent,,,,,, twist on life as we don't know it

Author: kevin scally from United Kingdom
2 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

the best thing thats been on the TV in the last year, you have to have a bit of an understanding of the twisted Scottish humour in it and the dialect, but if you can get your mind around that then your on to a winner,

sit back, relax and enjoy the best bit of semi fictional viewing that you've seen or will see in a long time,, Welsh comes through with another winner, nearly as good as Trainspotting.

Not as heavy going in places as Trainspotting or The Acid House but cuts into subjects that are beyond those. The subjects of incest, gambling addiction,drug addiction, joy riding, social discrimination and sex within the church are dealt with in a shocking but very humorous way

Excellent is all i can say,i nearly pee'd my pants a few times

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

British TV worthy of HBO

Author: Paul Joplin from United Kingdom
5 April 2007

Funny, sad, sexy and scathing. Quite simply an amazing achievement. After being subjected to second rate pedestrian period drama's and lacklustre so called "contemporary" drivel from British TV over the last few years, "Wedding Belles" shot out of the left field and gave me hope in the future of UK broadcasting.

Besides the beautiful photography, the rip roaring soundtrack, the "not an ounce of fat" editing and of course the fantastic chemistry of the cast, here was a script that nailed its mission statement on the mast from the get-go. It went where asbestos booted angels fear to tread.

The whole film felt and looked "authored", something we very rarely - if ever- see from UK productions nowadays. Dean Cavanagh and Irvine Welsh were obviously left to really take their imaginations into overdrive. What we ended up with was "hyper reality" but reality all the same. For all the shocking scenes they never once took us so far away from a veracity.

Being an exiled American I did have a problem understanding the accents and watched with subtitles. This didn't detract from the sheer joy it, in fact, imagining the subtitlers translating it just added to the humour for me.

I watch most of my TV on boxsets and I'd love to see a season of "Wedding Belles". It made me want to visit Edinburgh week in week out and catch up with these larger than life characters.

Truly an outstanding piece of TV worthy of awards.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Welsh at his funniest.

Author: rob-colquhoun from United Kingdom
2 April 2007

Wedding Belles was a breath of fresh air to British TV. The acting was outstanding with an exceptional performance from Shirley Henderson. The screen play was well written and extremely funny, with the actors executing the lines with perfect timing.

Welsh's cameo was amusing as his cameos usually are. The story is typical of welsh and I am sure people will be offended by his unrelenting honesty and attention to actual life he puts into all his work.

What is it about and who will like it? Fans of train spotting will enjoy the comedy and drama, it is not as controversial as the Acid House but still has the gritty sense of life in parts of Edinburgh, the comedy is the strongest and most important and entertaining part of this little drama.

The story is about the relationships between four female friends that have grown up in the east of Edinburgh, it takes place in the lead up to Amanda's wedding, a few secrets are revealed along the way. It is an amusing piece of entertainment.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Top Film

Author: matteo-26 from United Kingdom
23 April 2007

A great film, well worth watch a great writing duo on the rise. Watch this space. The film moves with pace, and determination. You are not allowed to catch your breath, until the commercial breaks.

A great break away from the Bridget Jones cliché of women. The film takes you on a journey of mayhem, madness and mischief, yet the bond between the four lasses overrides any conflicts they face from the outside world. They are as thick as thieves. It's so nice to feel an deep empathy for the central characters.

The sound track fits the pace of the film perfectly. Moreover I was amused that certain tabloids went on the moral high ground, over certain scenes that they felt were offensive. Newspapers that insist on exploiting women to sell their papers, a classic case of calling of the pot calling the kettle black.

I can't wait for Irvine Welsh's and Dean Cavanagh's next feature, are they the new Galton & Simpson ?

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Totally Awesome Film

Author: tamsin-getty from United Kingdom
8 April 2007

Wow! Just caught this on DVD and I have to say I'm blown away. Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh's "Wedding Belles" is simply a breath of fresh air. It's like a cross between a Quentin Tarantino and Mike Leigh film. It's got energy, hilarity, passion, irreverence and heart. A GREAT BIG HEART! I've haven't seen women portrayed this well on screen know, I couldn't really say! From the surreal beginning to the heartbreaking end this film never slacks for a second. Wave after wave of attention grabbing scenes fly out at you and you just never know what's going to happen next.

It feels and looks so unlike a UK production because of its ambition. Like Trainspotting before it, Wedding Belles kind of invents its own genre. Chick flick? Romcom? Black comedy? Revenge movie? I couldn't really say. What I can say though is that you simply MUST SEE THIS FILM. I'd defy anyone to watch it and not get hooked.

The performances from Henderson and Gomez are career defining and Kathleen McDermott and Shauna McDonald are stars on the up. The direction from Phillip John is sublime and the photography? Wow! It's like a painting.

All this and a soundtrack that manages to put Queens Of The Stone Age, Irma Thomas, The Pixies and Lonnie Donegan side by side without it feeling anything but natural and you've got a great work of art.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: pmctad from United Kingdom
10 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

funniest thing I have seen in ages we did not stop laughing from the first opening scenes (a bit black admittedly) until the (bit overly sentimental) ending. Loved it, Michelle Gomez is again amazing as an off the wall character, but this time with a soft side and a heart. Loved Shirley Henderson in taming of the shrew and she shows the same vulnerable edge in this. She is damaged and you want to know why, the story from the first scenes keep you hooked, and the promotional shots of them all in wedding dresses with the corpses keeps you wondering why and how did they get to this.

This will probably offend a lot of people and good on it, if they don't have a sense of humour they deserve to be offended. The two main leads Michelle and Shirly have the story lines, but the other two actresses have sound side stories. Glad that the ending did not tie everything up in an even package, that would have been too easy and does not fit with the overall feel of the piece. some decent side characters add to the mirth of the programme. Thoroughly worth a second watch

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

First class, punchy British comic drama

Author: Framescourer from London, UK
2 February 2011

I stumbled on this flicking through Channel 4's on demand service and then watched in awe for the full length of its 96 minute running time. I half knew I would when I read the name Irvine Welsh, credited as the writer. Wedding Belles has the same caffeinated charisma and fluent foul-mouthery of the principal ensemble of Trainspotting, the film based on Welsh's novel.

The acting is virtuosic tour, a high-torque example of playing one moment daft, as if to a sitcom-type audience, the next terribly serious but never splashing the melodrama. The unapologetic but beautifully annunciated accents are not at all hard to follow. The swearing is world class, utterly fluent and incorporated into both vernacular and character. None of this Richard Curtis business of queuing up yet another "f**k" from the beginning of a sentence.

It's a woman's picture, by which I mean very high highs and low lows all taken at hysterical pace, but which brushes it all off after each episode. An excellent piece of TV film making. Even if it didn't deserve a theatrical release, it should have had more publicity than it got. 8/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not for the easily offended

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
5 July 2009

Before starting the review I must say that if you are offended by swearing, drug use, necrophilia, violence, references to bestiality, more swearing, a priest receiving oral sex from a woman dressed as a nun, the use of derogatory terms for people suffering from mental illness or even more swearing then this probably isn't the film for you, if however you aren't easily offended and you like your comedy fairly dark then you may love this, I know I did.

Having enjoyed "Trainspotting" when I saw adverts for a new television film written by Irvine Welsh I just had to see it and when I did see it I enjoyed it so much I had to get the DVD as soon as it was released. Unlike his earlier film this film follows the lives of four women, the men in it are distinctly secondary characters. It opens with a bang as four women dressed in bridal gowns go to a grave yard and dig up a corpse before rounding up a teenage joy-rider, a Catholic priest and a Welshman who the take to a canal-side and shoot each of them. We then go back a week and see the events that lead up to these four women wanting to kill these four men.

Amanda, played by Michelle Gomez is looking forward to marrying her fiancé, a Welsh pilot who appears to have no major vices. Kelly, played by the excellent Shirley Henderson, is helping Amanda by doing her community service punishment for her at the local mental hospital, unfortunately Kelly isn't a hairdresser like Amanda so her attempts at cutting a patient's hair go disastrously wrong. Rhona, played by Shauna Macdonald, is having problems at her job in an old people's home after supplying an elderly gentleman with Viagra and is having an affair with a Catholic priest. Finally there is Shaz, played by Kathleen McDermott, who has turned to drugs following the death of her fiancé in a crash caused by a joy-rider.

The earlier part of the film is laugh out loud funny in particular the scene at the "saints and sinners" fancy dress party where Kelly is dressed as a Nazi and Rhona beats the living daylights out of a man while dressed as a nun. The comedy is however tinged with tragedy and by the end when we learnt Kelly's story I was almost in tears. I've avoided mentioning the funniest scenes as I'd hate to spoil the "I can't believe they did that" reactions they may cause.

If you liked "Trainspotting" I'd recommend this while I don't think the writing was as sharp here it is still great film with more laughs than his earlier work. The acting from the four leading ladies is very good, I particularly liked Shirley Henderson in her role as Kelly, but then she is always good.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Lacks substance and instead fills the time with cursing and misfiring crude attempts at adult humour

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
18 July 2007

It is a week to go till Amanda's wedding and the plans are going well. The lives of her friends are not looking as rosy as hers though. Rhona has turned to drugs and longs for suicide to be reunited with her dead fiancé. Shaz is having an affair with a priest and Kelly has cancer on top of still suffering with scars from her childhood. The four friends revolve around each other as the week that should be progressing towards happiness and love, becomes one of revenge and violence.

Let's just get this over with. There is no real need to read on, my summary line has already told you I didn't like the film and in case you missed it, I did think the film was a terribly pointless mess. There. Now, given the gushing praise for this film on this site and the fact that any even semi-negative review is voted "not useful", I imagine you the reader will have already have voted me useless (or in your parlance - "wrong") because I disagree with your views on this title. A shame that you will never ask me why I think this or just tell me you disagree but here we are. Anyway, by now the few readers this review will get either agree with me or are actually interested in the opinions of others, whether they differ or not. So my next problem is where to start with this.

Opening with four women in wedding dresses firing bullets into the men who have hurt them somehow, you could be forgiven from thinking that, when we jump to a week before, that the narrative would lead us to this point and explain the whys to us. In one way the film does move towards this point but only because the flow of time is linear. In terms of development of the story though, most of the film is really spent going nowhere. Mostly we hang around with the characters in various situations and it is only in the final third that suddenly motivations for the various acts of revenge are revealed – and they almost all come out of nowhere. To fill the time what we are left with are various "shocking" or comic moments that include a woman dressed as a nun masturbating an old man (who incidentally needed finishing off because the woman stopped him having sex with a dead woman in fishnets); a woman snorting the ashes of a dead dog; an incident with a man raped by a dog and of course endless swearing.

Now my main problem with this was that there was no story to support any of it and indeed even the ending chickens out of everything, suddenly going a bit sentimental and ending in a soft and unsatisfying fashion. Reading the reviews here, it does appear I'm missing the point by looking for a story or characters because according to those that love it, the film is actually a dark comedy. I have seen things that are outrageous and funny (Mel Brooks in his heyday comes to mind) but this is just outrageous. For some viewers this will be enough because they will call it "cult" and embrace it as edgy and darkly comic but from my point of view, the writers have just stuck lots of "gross-out" moments in there, written the C word lots and hoped that the "cult" appeal Welsh gained from Trainspotting will be enough to prevent anyone spotting the total lack of substance or genuine humour (dark or otherwise).

It is a terrible shame in some regards because there are real moments here and there in the characters – but they are few and far between. This wastes the actresses in stupid, foul-mouthed cardboard cut-out characters. Gomez is wasted. She has a good body and can swear like a trooper but there is nothing else for her to work with. Macdonald overacts in her simplistic addict role. Henderson has nothing to do but squeak around for so long that when she does eventually have a touching moment, it is devalued by everything that had gone before. McDermott is goodlooking and natural throughout – a waste that her material is just plain weak.

Overall then a mostly pointless and puerile affair that trades off shock value in place of substance – hoping that viewers will just call it "cult" and lap it up. You're not "wrong" if you loved it, it just means you fall within Welsh's target group. The good news is that that group is small.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

TV drama doesn't come better than this

Author: alan997 from United Kingdom
4 April 2007

It's unfortunate that this programme's IMDb rating has been dragged down by one person who just plain didn't like it. Note that *every* other reviewer has given it a 10...and how often does that happen? From the fantastic, surreal opening sequence to the close, this is simply British TV drama at its best. Hilarious yes, as others have noted, but also one of the most moving portraits of friendship I can remember seeing. The script is razor sharp, every performance flawless, the direction superb. Not a dull moment from start to finish. This one is going to *rack* up the awards. The only problem I can see from an American's perspective is the accents - Glaswegian you could cut with a Stanley knife. My guess is it'll get subtitles when it hits HBO, as it surely must. Irvine Welsh - maestro! Dennis Potter couldn't have done it better...and praise comes no higher than that.

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