New to Netflix this week is “Love Wedding Repeat,” a what-if rom com fantasy that examines one event, a fancy wedding celebration, from several different angles based on a shifting seating arrangement and a nomadic sedative.
Set in an opulent Italian party palace, the action centers around Jack (Sam Claflin), the protective older brother of the bride. It is meant to be Haley’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) big day but as everyone knows, wedding days rarely ever go as planned. Every little detail is important, most of all, if you believe this movie, the seating arrangement. A simple shift of a name or two from table to table changes the dynamic and can lead to chaos. Of course, a simple mix-up of names will only be made worse by the presence of angry exes, a sedative that never finds its intended target, an embarrassing men’s room incident and the proverbial ‘one that got away’ (Olivia Munn).
“Love Wedding Repeat,” has all the trappings of a classic farce. Big personalities and misunderstandings are the name of the game here but the unhurried pace feels more like a rom com than it does “Noises Off.” Dean Craig, the screenwriter behind the 2007 Frank Oz comedy “Death at a Funeral,” finds humour in the shifting-same-day narrative but places the romance front and centre, mostly leaving the screwball antics for another day.
An appealing cast makes the most of this thin but unique twist on romantic time loop farce. Claflin, best known for playing British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley “Peaky Blinders,” is the stabilizing force that keeps the fantasy aspect of the story earthbound. Revolving around him are a cast of characters whose actions bring the flights of fancy. As Jack’s angry, headbutting ex Frieda Pinto brings both fire and warmth while Tim Key convincingly plays the most socially awkward wedding guest ever. Joel Fry, as a desperate actor trying to impress a famous director, who happens to be seated at the next table, shows a different side from the work he did on “Game of Thrones.”
“Love Wedding Repeat” could have used a little more door slamming to amp up the farcical nature of the story but provides a diversion in these strange times, an unusual, if somewhat predictable, rom com with (NO SPOILER HERE, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING) a happy ending.