'Drunk Wedding': Film Review
Nick Weiss' debut feature is a found-footage comedy about a destination wedding run amok.
Paramount's experiment with micro-budget releases doesn't exactly seem to be paying off. Area 51, Oren Peli's long-delayed follow-up to his smash hit Paranormal Activity, was recently dumped into Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas for a modest three-day theatrical run, and now Nick Weiss' directorial debut is getting the same treatment after sitting on the shelf for a couple of years. A raunchy found-footage comedy about a destination wedding gone awry, Drunk Wedding recalls the Hangover movies in at least one respect: It will leave you with one.
The plot, such as it is, concerns a couple traveling to Nicaragua (the country provided financial assistance to the production, probably to its lingering regret), with friends and family members in tow. Predictable mayhem ensues, all of it captured for dubious posterity thanks to the video cameras that have been handed out to the participants so they can record the proceedings.
The title is accurate in that the characters liberally partake of alcohol, resulting in a steady stream of outrageous behavior, usually of the sexual variety. There are hookups, a threesome, a lecherous dance involving a young waiter and a gaggle of wild women that results in him ejaculating into his underwear, and, most prominently, the groom waking up after a drunken night with a bite mark on his penis that was clearly not left by his future bride. Oh, and one male guest urinates on another while others watch and laugh appreciatively.
Such boorish behavior may be fun to participate in under the right circumstances, especially if one has a low I.Q. and is impaired by drugs or alcohol. But at least as depicted here, it's unbearably tedious to watch, with the shaky camerawork all too accurately feeling like it was shot by drunken revelers. The film purports to have a screenplay co-written by the director and Anthony Weiss, but one would be hard-pressed to differentiate it from the most unimaginative improvisation.
The cast, largely composed of unknowns save for British actor Christian Cooke (Romeo & Juliet, Love, Rosie), go through their formulaic paces with admirable enthusiasm even while displaying no discernible comic skills.
Imagine being forced to attend nuptials involving people you've never met who spend the entire time acting like assholes, and you'll get the idea of what it's like to sit through this misbegotten exercise that well deserves its fate. Despite its brief, 80-minute running time, the film vividly conveys the feeling of a long weekend.
Production: Weston Pictures
Cast: Christian Cooke, Victoria Gold, Dan Gill, Anne Gregory, Genevieve Jones, Nate Lang, Diana Newton, J.R. Ramirez, Nick Ross, Bethany Dwyer
Director: Nick Weiss
Screenwriters: Nick Weiss, Anthony Weiss
Producers: Brad Weston, Couper Samuelson, John Hamburg
Executive producer: Anders Bard
Director of photography: Frederick Schroeder
Production designer: Bernt Amadeus Capra
Editors: Michael Aller, Daniel S. Russ
Costume designer: Arefeh Mansouri
Composer: Nathan Matthew David
Casting: Joanna Colbert, Rich Mento
Not rated, 80 minutes