Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

 
Period drama has simmering conflict, lacks resolution.
  • Review Date: December 29, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

True love may not always win out; Joseph and Dolly seem to share a romantic connection, but it's not clear that this bond will be enough to bring them together -- not when she's just hours away from marrying someone else.

Positive role models

Dolly comes from a proper English family and is therefore obligated to conform to many social expectations. Joseph seems willing to ignore convention, but his direct speech is clearly an affront to the more refined characters. Few people actually say what they really mean, so it's often difficult to discern what they might be thinking/feeling.

Violence

Some intense emotional arguments.

Sex

A couple kisses passionately, and there are a few veiled allusions to a woman's sexual history.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The wealthy characters drink steadily all through the film, including wine, champagne, and scotch. The bride pulls repeatedly from a jug of rum to steel her nerves.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cheerful Weather for the Wedding is anything but cheerful. A large group of family members and assorted friends gathers for a young woman's marriage in post-WWI England, an event that she seems to be anticipating with dread. Expect plenty of interpersonal conflict as characters act on their various motives (which aren't always pure). There's also lots of drinking (accurate for the era), and some characters get pretty tipsy. There are also some passionate kissing and veiled references to characters' sexual histories, though little is said directly.

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What's the story?

Dolly (Felicity Jones), a young lady from a respectable English family, is about to be married, though she's clearly distracted when former boyfriend Joseph (Luke Treadaway) shows up, possibly hoping to woo her back. But Dolly's determined mother (Elizabeth McGovern) won't let her daughter's romantic history -- or anything else -- get in the way of the ceremony. Joseph and Dolly share a strong connection, but there may be more going on in this period drama set in post-World War I England.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

CHEERFUL WEATHER FOR THE WEDDING has strong characters with strong opinions who rarely say what they're really thinking. Does Joseph want Dolly back? It's not totally clear. And what does the reluctant bride really want to happen on her wedding day? She's given a few chances to step onto different paths, but she never veers from her assigned course. And a series of flashbacks to happier days don't really explain whether they actually care for each other.

As a result, it's hard to tell what anybody wants, and that's a problem. How can we care about the film's twists and turns when we're not really invested in the characters? Subtlety is a virtue, sure, but not when it gets in the way of clarity or excellence. You have to wonder whether the filmmakers simply have a light touch or just aren't sure of what they want to say. In either case, too much is left unsaid.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Cheerful Weather for the Wedding portrays relationships. Do Joseph and Dolly belong together? Why is Dolly marrying someone else? What role do social/familial expectations play?

  • Why do the characters in this period English drama so rarely say what they really think? Do you think that's an accurate depiction of the time period/social class?

  • Who do you think this movie is intended to appeal to? Does it succeed?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 7, 2012
DVD release date:March 26, 2013
Cast:Elizabeth McGovern, Felicity Jones, Luke Treadaway
Director:Donald Rice
Studio:IFC Entertainment
Genre:Drama
Topics:Friendship
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic material involving sensuality, and for smoking and brief language

This review of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding was written by

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