Pat Kiely’s offbeat romantic dramedy, Another Kind of Wedding, falls short of its aspirations. A quirky cast of obnoxious characters reunites for Matthew (Jacob Tierney) and Louisa’s (Jessica Parker Kennedy) wedding in Montreal. Underwhelming chaos ensues amongst them all as their long-harbored grievances air publicly and privately throughout the weekend. Brief flashbacks reveal their relationships at their best and worst moments.
Kathleen Turner and Frances Fisher play Matthew’s divorced parents, Barbara and Tammy. The quarreling exes hold grudges and bicker, yet still, have fond feelings for one another. Wallace Shawn (who is revered by many as the conniving Vizzini in The Princess Bride) is reduced to the buffoonish role of Albert, Barbara’s date and doting lackey for the weekend. We aren’t quite sure if Albert is there to make Tammy jealous or if Barbara just wants to take a man-servant along of the wild ride.
“…quarreling exes hold grudges and bicker, yet still, have fond feelings…”
Kevin Zegers and Jessica Paré star as Matthew’s troubled siblings, Kurt and Carrie. Louisa was Kurt’s girlfriend before she fell in love with Matthew when he met up with her while traveling through Berlin. The brothers’ relationship has been uncomfortably awkward ever since. The fact that he’s an eccentric and overly emotional struggling actor doesn’t help ease everyone’s fears that he’ll end up making a scene and spoiling the wedding. Meanwhile, Carrie strings her happy hippy-dippy boyfriend, Misha (Luke Kirby), along only to ignore him and remain wrapped up in her own existential crisis.
Although the characters strive to be unique and complex, they are rather superficial, self-centered and oftentimes unlikable. None of them seem to be satisfied or even happy with their lives. They find different means of escapism – traveling, drinking, smoking pot, having impulsive affairs, etc. – to improve their unfulfilling lives.
“…aspires to achieve originality and greatness…”
Honestly, the most likable character of them all is Misha. Kirby’s performance in enchanting and charismatic. The whole cast delivers solid performances, but Kirby is the only one who truly wins the audience over. Unlike the other characters, Misha is genuine, perceptive, caring, honest, and peculiar in the most entertaining way.
Another Kind of Wedding, much like its characters, aspires to achieve originality and greatness, but disappointing fails.
Another Kind of Wedding (2017) Written and directed by Pat Kiely. Starring Kevin Zegers, Jessica Paré, Kathleen Turner, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Wallace Shawn, Frances Fisher, Luke Kirby, and Jacob Tierney. Another Kind of Wedding screened as part of the 2018 Newport Beach Film Festival.
2.5 out of 5 stars