The Wedding Tackle

*1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

In these post-feminist days of male menopausal angst, British sex comedies tend to specialise in feisty chicks and useless blokes. The lager laddish lout culture appears to be a front for self-centred whingers with soft option jobs, who treat women as bar room accessories.

As an ensemble piece, Rami Dvir's film lacks the one ingredient that gave Four Weddings its edge - charm. You don't want to meet these people. They are either sad, conceited or aggressive.

James Purefoy has become typecast as totty snack. In movie after movie, he's the one girls are gagging for. As a result, he doesn't have to act, rather look bored and smouldery.

He is about to tie the knot with Susan Vidler, which scares him rigid, and so seeks the advice a lame swimming coach (Adrien Dunbar), who is having an affair with Amanda Redman, as a sexy barmaid.

Tony Slattery, meanwhile, is a scruffy cartoonist, plotting to get Vidler back - they used to be an item. With Dunbar's help, he sets up a sting, involving Purefoy, Redman, the gents lav and a Polaroid.

This absurdity is enhanced by Purefoy's flatmate (Neil Stuke), a feeble excuse for humanity, and his nutcraker of a girlfriend (Victoria Smurfit), who enjoys nothing better than verbally thrashing him, while secretly having it off with Purefoy behind best friend Vidler's back.

If this is the new morality, flaunting self above the feelings of others, it makes for sloth and ugliness. Leslie Grantham, playing Redman's cuckolded husband, captures the flavour of the moment. As a psychotic, paranoid policeman all he wants to do is damage to the crippled seducer, who is being sidetracked by thoughts of another woman. Does it ever stop? Not really.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Stag pub crawl for womaniser has sexual complications.
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Director: Rami Dvir

Writer: Nigel Horne

Starring: Adrian Dunbar, James Purefoy, Amanda Redman, Leslie Grantham, Victoria Smurfit, Susan Vidler, Tony Slattery, Neil Stuke

Year: 1999

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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