TL;DR – While there are some good ideas here, what we have is a film of two halves that don’t quite work well with each other.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Today I have an interesting task in reviewing someone’s first ever feature film
which actually puts me in an odd position. That is because while there are some
really good ideas here in places and the core concepts are sound, a lot of this
film does not quite come together. We need more creatives taking those first
new steps because that is where all of our greatest filmmakers started. With
that in mind explore the world of a horror aficionado and the chaos they leave
in their wake.
So to set the scene, we open in on Zoe (Aida Valentine) as she is preparing for
her last day at school for the term and by preparing I mean setting up a horror
scene of a wedding, including an exploding bride. This is a frustration to her
father Sal (Greg James) who is trying to raise her and run a business as a single
dad. All of this comes to a head when Zoe’s older sister Zilla (Sam Kamerman)
returns home to announce that she is getting married, oh married to a women Lu
(Mia Allen), oh and all of Lu’s family have made the trip from New York to
Portland to come over for dinner, oh they are all super conservative, and oh
the wedding is in a couple of weeks.
As a guy, it might not be kosher, but I love a good romantic comedy, one that
you can sit back, laugh, but also be moved by the characters. However, this is
a genre that has kind of been on the backburner in recent years with only Crazy
Rich Asians being the one to come to mind when I think of good
works to draw from. Today, thankfully, I get to add another film to this list
with the joy that is Top End Wedding.
So to set the scene, we open in on a couple living in Adelaide who are both
having very important days. Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) is having her first major
client meeting and if it goes well she will get a promotion for the firm she
works in under Hampton (Kerry Fox) who is often referred to a Cruella.
Meanwhile, Ned (Gwilym Lee) is trying to live up to his father’s memory in the
courtroom but finds the job difficult because he has no passion for it. Well,
Ned decides to quit his job and proposes to Lauren, the only catch is that
Hampton will only give Lauren 10 days off for the wedding, as in the next 10
days, and Lauren has always dreamed of having her wedding in Darwin where she
is from. While this should be easy to put together, things take a turn when she
arrives home to find her father Trevor (Huw Higginson) and mother Daffy (Ursula
Yovich) had recently separated and no one knows where her mother is.