And now, by popular request, some negativity. In general, this blog tries to pick the winners from the field, and make positive hay from the crème de la crème of movies. But every so often, there’s a few bad movies which just have to be reviewed, as a public service to prevent the unwary from stumbling on them. Dennis Dugan’s Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is a cinematic disaster, a terrible riff on the Love Actually multi-story multiplex pleaser that surfaces on Amazon Prime in the UK and really needs, rather than a review, a warning that the entire film is a choking hazard.
Appearances are deceptive; there are two big stars here that promise value. Jeremy Irons has been a beloved actor for four decades, and co-star Diane Keaton even longer. He plays a posho maitre’d who lacks a partner; she plays a blind date who turns up, chortle chortle, to be blind herself. And if you think that means lots of laughs about bumping into furniture, knocking over displays of champagne glasses and other clichés that poke fun at genuine disabilities, you’d be uncomfortably right.
And yet Keaton and Irons are easily the best thing in this shambles, in which most of the cast seem to have been selected for their resemblance to other stars. There’s a park singer who looks like Drew Barrymore, a lovelorn tour guide who resembles Chris Tucker playing Sinbad, a hunky singer sporting a Leonardo DiCaprio haircut, Maggie Grace plays a wedding planner with a Kristen Stewart hairdo. Each look-a-like features in a number of supposedly romantic stories set in the Boston area. A reality tv show pairs the mayor’s brother with a stripper, who is literally chained to him. A short man is paired with, wait for it, a tall woman ! An Israeli is paired with….a Palestinian! Sit back and watch the sparks fly!
Wrongly listed on Amazon Prime in their ‘movies we think you’ll like’ section, Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is something of a misfire for Dugan, who has directed some of the best (and worst) Adam Sandler vehicles. The comic timing that Dugan brought to Happy Gilmore, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Don’t Mess With The Zohan is missing here, and the result is as flat as Jack and Jill. Boston looks reasonably pretty, and the lack of swearing and sex is something of a novelty, but ultimately this is a disaster in every sense, a hokey smorgasbord of ancient gags and glutinous sentiment that curdles on impact with the frontal lobes. Avoid!