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Friends and family convene at a beach house for the wedding of Lila and Tom. But things don't go swimmingly, mainly because of one thing that Lila and her maid of honor, Laura, have in common - Tom, the groom. Laura and Tom were an item before Lila came along and nobody seems able to forget that. With very few successful marriages to look up to, and friends that she's not sure she can trust, will Lila be able to go through with the wedding? Written by
all right but nothing special (which it really could've been)
Surprised there's not more reviews up for this one given its cast. I saw it about two weeks back when it unexpectedly hit the local art theater near me and not knowing much about it just went for it.
Film was all right enough though hardly great. Film keeps you interested in the proceedings-and it is surprisingly well shot for a first time filmmaker--several lovely scenes of the characters outdoors here...but there is nothing here you haven't seen before plot wise. Cast is pretty uneven--but that fits here because so is the writing. A lot of exposition is given for the 3 main characters--you find out about various rivalries and such, but none of it really matters since it hardly really explains the actions the characters take throughout the film. With the possible exception of Katie Holmes' character you really don't exactly know what's behind the three main characters action beyond some vague unhappiness with each other from the past when they all went to school together...and so without knowing what their motivations are for acting the way they act throughout, its hard to really care about them let alone care about which one of the 2 main women Josh Dumael's going to pick by the end of the movie.
Of the three main performances--I actually thought Dumael turned in a rather good performance considering his character as written is a huge indecisive moron. (he knows for a fact for most of the running time of the film that he needs to break off his engagement to Anna paquin to go back to Katie Holmes but consistently either puts it off or lets paquin talk him into going through with it even though his every action screams how much he does not want to.) Given the roles i've seen Dumael in so far, it was a nice change of pace for him--playing the insecure and easily cowered stiff instead of the take charge guy he normally plays.
Holmes pretty much sticks to Joey from Dawson's Creek mode here--playing prideful and wounded and desperately trying to not show either to all her friends. (its not a bad performance, its right within her wheelhouse and she does a good job more or less of making you care about what's happening--but its nothing you haven't seen before, especially if you were a fan of Dawson's.) Paquin is kind of stuck with the role of the shrew here--and while the film makes some overtures to explain why she is the way she is (and why she's set out on marrying Dumael despite the fact that she knows he doesn't love her) her performance suffers from her character's general unpleasantness--the film barely even explains why the characters in the movie are her friends in the first place--so it barely even make sense that the characters should be going out of their way to not make her upset. She's fine but she's really saddled with a badly written character who when the film first starts seems like she could be much more interesting.
Even though i liked the supporting players all well enough and liked that the film tries to establish them as actual characters and not just one dimensional friends (elijah wood as paquin's drunken brother is definitely one of the film's highlight...and Candice bergen appears briefly as paquin's mom--who did the casting here?!?!?) the film really is an old fashioned romantic drama between the main 3 performers. That right there is probably why the film is not as special as it could of been--old fashioned romantic dramas are fine as a genre--but this one clearly had aspirations of being a Big Chill like statement about today's late twenty something and how some can't for the life of us make up their minds about what they want when it matters most...or about how some of us focus so hard on trying to get the things we want even when we know for a fact its the wrong thing and so we lie ourselves into thinking its the right thing. Its not a bad underlying theme for a film like this to have--and i like that the film has lofty goals for itself, but the main romantic pairing is so stiff and obvious that you never seriously think that Dumael and Paquin will actually end the film the way they started (if the two of them had some sort of chemistry together on the other hand, or if there was anything shown between the two of them that might of indicated why the two characters were together in the first place besides that the plot demanded it..i might've been able to believe that the two of them as a couple.)---i'm not going to say if they do end up together or not--but i think the fact that the film leaves everything kind of open-ended kind of not at the last minute speaks to that. (I did very much like how the ending was more implied then spelled out--something that i feel was a very nice touch and i certainly hope was from the book--of which i seriously hope went deeper into the mindset of its characters far better then the screenplay here does.) Overall--its not a bad watch but it could've been much better. The ingredients were all there.
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