by David Hartwell
September 23, 2006
Debbie Isitt has managed to make a mildly endearing (and thankfully very original) film that tackles the trivial finite details and hopefully prevailing love that surrounds a wedding. Through the use of the surprisingly little-used genre, "mockumentary," Confetti has distinctive human warmth that often gets overlooked in typical narrative storytelling.
The story is relatively simple, but it's the complex characters and on screen chemistry that really shines. Confetti, a major bridal magazine, has served as host to an annual competition of "The Best Wedding," in which the winner is selected by a panel for the three separate weddings. To avoid the conventional idea of the wedding and to bring in more income, the editor of Confetti announces that this year they will shift gears and make the competition into the "Most Original Wedding."
The three lucky contestants, and their ideas for the weddings, are: Matt and Samantha (Hollywood musical theme), Josef and Isabelle (tennis theme) and finally Michael and Joanna (naturist theme). In efforts to get exactly what they want, and in hopes of obtaining the grand prize of a new starter house, the three couples work with two flamboyantly homosexual wedding planners to obtain their own "perfect wedding."
Confetti is, as mentioned earlier, a mockumentary. With a mockumentary, certain triumphs and limitations are implemented. The documentary element allows the viewer to feel more attached to the character because it is easier to view them as real people. One important fact to note is that the entire dialogue in the movie was improvised by the cast, but the documentary setting of the movie made it almost impossible to notice. The limitations of this genre are that despite its ability to connect with the characters, it is more difficult to get lost in the movie. Because this particular movie featured some bizarre people, settings and events, Confetti lost a little bit of its realism and in turn, some of its believability.
The humor and substance of the movie was just about what you would expect from a British comedy. That is to say, it was very dry and subtle and may take different kinds of minds to fully appreciate it. Its unashamed nudity, accents and views on society scream British in this movie. Despite some very small similarities, Confetti still doesn't quite match up to the outrageously funny humor of some other famous mockumentaries such as This is Spinal Tap, or BBC's (and NBC's) television show, "The Office."
With every movie there is an experience factor, which is everything that doesn't necessarily relate to the artistic critique or quality of the film. And for this movie, that experience can only be described as uncomfortable. Part of the discomfort stemmed from the awkward moments of the movie, the unflinching depiction of naturism, or the "over-the-topness" of the weddings themselves. The other part came from the audience, or lack of audience, as I was the only one in the theatre. I guess this movie just isn't viewed in the same light here as it is across the pond.
Enthusiasts of British humor and satire can rejoice in the quirkiness of Confetti, but the fans of slapstick comedy or gut busting absurdity may want to try their luck with Jackass: Number 2 this weekend. The movie has subtle drollery and heart that seems to be forced out best through the mockumentary genre. Though not much stuck out enough in the movie to make me laugh uproariously, it definitely wasn't a waste of my time.
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