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A film unlikely to win your heart.

Wedding Daze

(15, 91 mins) Comedy/romance. Jason Biggs, Isla Fisher, Michael Weston, Edward Herrmann, Margo Martindale, Joanna Gleason, Joe Pantoliano

In keeping with tradition, Michael Ian Black's romantic comedy proffers something old (most of the gags), something new (the romantic pairing of Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher), something borrowed (larger-than-life supporting characters defined by their tics or sexual peccadillos) and something blue (sporadic gross-out humour).

Lamentably, Wedding Daze doesn't proffer much in the way of laughter or entertainment, putting its mismatched lead characters through the emotional wringer in the futile hope that their suffering might inspire sympathy or even affection.

Boredom and frustration are closer to the mark.

Biggs and Fisher are, like the film, charmless and lifeless. He lazily reprises his bumbling, accident-prone loser from the American Pie series while she dilutes her zany, love-hungry bridesmaid from Wedding Crashers.

Sexual chemistry is non-existent.

Supporting performances fare slightly better, though not much.

Edward Herrmann and Margo Martindale merit a chuckle as the hero's sex-crazed parents who keep their marriage sizzling with whipped cream, and Matt Malloy is underused as the inventor with an inspired range of religious toys including the Jewnicorn and the Jewlahoop.

"It doesn't really work," says the inventor of his latter creation, a giant plastic Star of David. The same can be said of Black's film.

The course of true love never did run smooth and that's certainly true in Wedding Daze.

Anderson (Biggs) intends to propose to his sweetheart Vanessa (Blaser) by dressing up as Cupid and going down on one baby-oiled knee in the middle of a posh eaterie.

She responds by clutching her chest and dying on the spot.

The experience scars poor Anderson for life.

After months of moping about his apartment, Anderson is encouraged by best friend Ted (Weston) to dip his toes back into the dating pool.

Anderson agrees, and promptly proposes to kooky waitress Katie (Fisher), a woman he has never met before, who is desperate to avoid marrying her orthodontist beau, William (Diamantopoulos).

Coming to terms with their actions, the 'happy couple' meet the parents, Katie's meddlesome mother (Gleason) and Anderson's lusty folks Lyle (Herrmann) and Betsy (Martindale).

Wedding Daze clunks along predictably from one misadventure to the next, including Katie's jailbird father Smitty (Pantoliano) escaping from prison and an unfortunate run-in with an officious sheriff (Sanders) and his deputy (Corddry).

First-time feature writer-director Black is ill-equipped to forge any emotional bonds between us and his characters, ensuring a happy ending for everyone, including one protagonist who turns out to be gay.

Hermann and Martindale's randy twosome commandeers a lot of the smutty humour, including a frank man-to-man discussion about sex that culminates in a father giving his son a hand-me-down ring unsuitable for public occasions.

The sprightly 91-minute running time ensures that unlike most weddings, our torment is blessedly brief.

NO SWEARING, SEX, VIOLENCE
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:477
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