RogerBW's Blog

Destination Wedding 19 April 2019

2018 romantic comedy, dir. Victor Levin, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder: IMDb / allmovie. Frank and Lindsay have each been invited to San Luis Obispo for the flashy wedding of someone they don't much like. She's the groom's ex; he's his half-brother; they're both bitter people. Naturally, they meet.

One of the very refreshing things, to me, about romantic comedy as a genre having been done, is that there are now plenty of the things that don't feel the need to follow the standard pattern of meet-cute, lust, big misunderstanding, reconciliation and perfection. Instead, the actual romance here is a slow increase, but it's the principals who make it: Frank and Lindsay snark constantly to each other, despising everyone around them… and, crucially, depising each other and themselves too, without which this would just feel mean-spirited.

They just let anyone officiate at a wedding?

Not anyone. You need a credit card and an Internet connection.

But these people are broken and they know it and they accept it, and that's what makes the thing work. The framing is always round them as they go through the motions of rehearsal dinner, foot massage, winery visit, and so on; theirs are the only two speaking parts apart from some announcement voices. And, to be fair, if you can't join in with the spirit of the snarkiness then you probably won't much enjoy the film.

This is the fourth film in which both Ryder and Reeves have had parts, and the third in which they've played some sort of couple; they've known each other since the 1980s, and this shows as Frank and Lindsay become immediately comfortable with each other (even while arguing) in a way that they aren't with other people. Yes, it's a very wordy script, and not much happens, but that's rather the point.

Something of a change in direction from my usual viewing, and from the usual track of romantic comedies, but recommended. (Also contains the least sexy sex scene I've ever seen.)

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