Happy Ever Afters (15)

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The Independent Culture

Two Irish wedding receptions colliding in the same hotel isn't a bad idea for a comedy, but Stephen Burke's feature doesn't even clear the hurdles of basic competence.

Sally Hawkins is the single mum getting married for money in an immigration scam, Tom Riley is tying the knot for the second time with his unstable bride. The farcical misunderstandings that land them both in trouble may have looked fine on the page, but they lack ingredients both vital (timing) and mysterious (charm). The former can be worked at; the latter can't. One galumphing setpiece barges into another, while the tone veers madly between a false jauntiness and a brooding cynicism. The press notes declare: "Like the Billy Wilder movies of yesteryear, the script has a charm all of its own." And that is why you should never read press notes. They're not just misleading – they're upsetting.

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