The Wedding Video (15)


Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of two genres in one, the middlebrow wedding comedy and the DIY vérité flick. Too bad for anyone who knows of lawful impediment.

Rufus Hound stars as Raif, a jovial waster returning home to be best man at his straight-laced brother Tim's (Robert Webb) wedding. His bride-to-be Saskia (Lucy Punch) is from a Cheshire nouveau-riche family with pretensions to match, though Raif remembers her as the school tearaway who loved a laugh – and still does, it would seem.

Considering director Nigel Cole and writer Tim Firth previously worked on Calendar Girls, expectations for this weren't soaring, though the brotherly banter and the social snobbery are sometimes well-observed. When Raif tells Saskia's awful grandmother (Miriam Margoyles) that he's a traveller, she replies acidly, "Traveller? Country to country, or lay-by to lay-by?"

Harriet Walter as the control-freak mother-in-law is a nice study in clenched aspiration, while Hound's puppyish presence keeps the whole show lolloping along. It's medium funny and mildly chucklesome, though you can spot the direction the film's taking pretty early.

As for the climactic twist, you keep thinking: they can't possibly, can they? Oh but they can, and they do.