But Top End Wedding has an ace in the hole. See, those issues are specifically with how Lauren and Daffy are written. Their respective actors are so pitch-perfect and charming that the uphill battle is eventually won. It takes a while, but it is won. Miranda Tapsell is radiant as Lauren. She’s so beguiling and spunky that the audience instantly understands why Ned is so madly in love with her. It helps that Tapsell’s chemistry with Gwilym Lee is remarkable.
Lee is also great. Ned’s goofy antics and spur of the moment ideas could have been grating. But Lee makes them fun and endearing. Higginson plays the sad mope of a father/ husband perfectly. In one wordless exchange, he gets up from the couch, goes into the pantry, turns on the radio, and starts sobbing. While it sounds sad, it is hysterical. The entire cast, no matter how minor the role, is delightful and delivers in a way the script consistently fails to do.
“The entire cast, no matter how minor the role, is delightful and delivers in a way the script consistently fails to do.”
The other fantastic thing about the film is its direction. Wayne Blair, who is probably best known for The Sapphires, brings a lot of energy to the whole affair. Eric Murray Lui’s cinematography captures the gorgeous Australian outback in warm, inviting tones. The way the movie cuts between the couple’s odyssey to find Daffy and the bridesmaids planning the wedding also works quite well.
Is Top End Wedding a bad film? No, not exactly. The direction is stylish, the soundtrack is excellent, and all the actors are phenomenal. Yet, the screenplay focuses on two of the most self-centered people I have seen in a long time. As such, it is difficult to truly enjoy the movie on the level it wants you to.
"…captures the gorgeous Australian outback in warm, inviting tones."