Danni Sposato (Amanda Detmer) has three sisters, two of them older and one younger. Niki (Brooke Langton), the oldest, was the smart one; Chrissy (Vanessa Parise) always got herself in trouble; and Toni (Monet Mazur) was another rebellious one. “Kiss the Bride” (Vanessa Parise) doesn’t initially put Danni into a category, and you may wonder if the film is really about her. It begins with Danni in a wedding dress and she’s trying to hold back tears. She walks through the house, looking for someone named Geoff (Johnathon Schaech), who turns out to be her fiancé. The rest of the beginning credits roll, and the story takes you to the recent past where Danni’s sisters return to the family’s Rhode Island home in the weeks before the wedding.
Until “Kiss the Bride” picks up where it started, it’s less of a wedding picture and more about a family reunion. Personal happiness and satisfaction are questioned, feelings get hurt, and a meltdown occurs. Niki, straight-A-student and Harvard graduate, realizes that her role on a “Baywatch.” type of TV show isn’t the sort of acting that she’s always dreamed of doing. Chrissy, successful Wall Street woman, admits that her business isn’t doing too well. Toni, the aspiring musician, becomes aware of her tendency to be reactionary. For nearly seventy-five minutes, “Kiss the Bride” is about everyone but the bride.
It’s not uncommon for a film’s narrative to follow multiple plot threads without leaving the viewer feel confused or disappointed (especially when the cinematic work turns out to be about something other than what one originally thought). Occasionally a film that shifts its focus from “main topic” to “subtopic” will cause the viewer to feel somewhat peeved. In the case of “Kiss the Bride,” although it’s not really about the bride, you don’t feel frustrated because the director doesn’t forget that Danni exists. Her character doesn’t disappear and then reappear from the film. It’s just that neither she nor you can understand what kind of non-wedding-related stress she is under until the film is almost over.
“Kiss the Bride” doesn’t spotlight the bride because it’s about more than a wedding. It’s about family.