A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in Love. Wedding. Repeat is a multiple-character romcom that takes place on one momentous day in Rome. It's the story of a fairytale wedding that deconstructs when an old sweetheart arrives to threaten the bride's happiness. Assorted other attendees melt down in their own oddball ways. Based on a French film Plan Du Table (2012), in this version the bride is English, the groom Italian. Viewers can expect comic mayhem with a few farcical pratfalls (a headbutt, falls, a slap), and almost continuous swearing and raunchy conversation (i.e., "f--k," "c--k," "d--k," "balls, "bastard"). One character is obsessed by penis size and talks about it endlessly. There's an abundance of sexual innuendo, sexual jokes (masturbation), gay jokes, and talk of infidelity, but other than kisses, there's no overt sexual activity. A central comic plot element involves a sedative being secretly administered to a wedding guest(s) with "hilarious" results. Characters consume alcohol; a man snorts cocaine.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
Hayley (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Roberto (Tiziano Caputo) are getting married in LOVE. WEDDING. REPEAT. It's a beautiful day at a majestic hotel in Rome. Jack (Sam Clafin), Hayley's devoted big brother, will walk his sister down the aisle. They're best friends, confidantes, and because they're orphans, Jack has been the guiding light in Hayley's life. But Jack has something else on his mind, as well. It has been three years since he met Dina (Olivia Munn), an American reporter with whom he was once smitten. Their time together was cut short, and this will be the first he's seen of her since that idyllic moment. Jack and Dina will be seated together at a table of uniquely eccentric other guests. Unfortunately, events once again get in his way. Hayley's old flame, Marc (Jack Farthing), has crashed the wedding. Hayley is frantic, certain that Marc will stop at nothing to ruin her wedding and her marriage. She begs Jack to help her. If he would only put a few drops of a strong sedative in Marc's drink, the danger would be over. Reluctantly, Jack obliges, but when the table assignments are switched, the sedative ends up in the wrong stomach. Comic mayhem ensues.
Is it any good?
Hoping for the magic of other iconic, multiple-character British comedies, writer-director Dean Craig has assembled fine actors who are foiled by inadequate comic timing and a chaotic story. If the slapstick bedlam caused by the oddball characters, the former suitor's appearance, the mistaken dose of sedative, and the constant interruptions to Jack's romantic efforts weren't enough, Craig tries to sell a big twist well over halfway into Love. Wedding. Repeat. Though intermittently funny, the shift doesn't help matters; it just gives the beleaguered but likable Sam Clafin (playing his version of a stammering Hugh Grant) more screen time in which to play the hapless good guy.
On the other hand, there are a few laughs and at least some of the characters have enough charm to make the movie a passable diversion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of wedding comedies. Why is it appealing to find humor in one of the most important events in a lifetime? How does the seriousness of the moment play against all the funny things that can (and often do) go wrong?
Think about the music and locations in Love. Wedding. Repeat. How does the operatic score, with its familiar melodies, contribute to the overall mood of the movie? How do the wedding venue and its surroundings contribute to its romanticism?
In literary, theatrical, and film terms, what is a "farce?" Describe the elements in this movie (i.e., physical humor, buffoonery) that contribute to that designation. List some farcical movies you've seen that are favorites.
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