The Wedding Invitation


Reviewed by: Jane Fae

The Wedding Invitation
"It is thoroughly endearing: a Jane Austen for modern times, exploring women and friendship in a way we rarely get to see on screen."

It is always advisable, when sitting down to watch and review a film, to have prepared by reading up on the right film. In this case, The Wedding Invitation (2017), a light and frothy reboot of Take Three Girls, relocated to the 21st century and the West Coast, and not the somewhat more serious 2013 Chinese film of the same name about unrequited love and – you guessed it! - a wedding invitation.

This is the story of three young women – Lucy (Rainy Kerwin), Ryan (Camille Guaty) and Nectar (Christina Ulloa) – and their desperate search for partners to take to the wedding event of the year, an Eighties style reception-cum-reunion prom hosted by the coolest girl in their school year: Denise Masterson (Kara Amanda Smith).

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The characters are clearly drawn, if ever so slightly clichéd. Lucy is the control freak who runs her life on post-it notes, neatly pasted into her gaudy statement diary, and deep and meaningful one-liners drawn from an extensive library of self-actualisation helpbooks. Ryan is geekgirl, happily just getting by and, one senses, the most sorted of the three. Nectar, as a successful model, is the one most spoilt for male attention, but such attention comes at a price: in this case, the fact that most of the men interested in her are the crushingest of crushing bores.

Did I mention that Lucy is out of love and out of work? The film opens with her being dumped by longterm bf, Marcus (Chris Mollica), who also happens to be her boss. Firing follows close behind. Her subsequent emotional meltdown is why, instead of preparing calmly to attend the wedding, there to seek out eligible young men, the three are all, with but one week to go, committed to finding and bringing along an acceptable plus one.

Will Lucy finally pluck up the courage to invite Graham (Eoin Macken)? Did throwing up in front of the object of her desire prove fatal to Ryan's amorous intentions? Will Nectar finally find a man to respect her?

Well, of course they do. This is rom com, after all, and the real interest is less eventual destination than journey travelled. And there is plenty to enthuse over on this particular journey.

It is thoroughly endearing: a Jane Austen for modern times, exploring women and friendship in a way we rarely get to see on screen. Because so much contemporary output celebrates buddyship - the bonding that goes on between men – it's only when we see the tables turned that we notice just how much we are missing most of the time.

And boy, are the tables turned: the focus is very much on how women who have grown up together work together, support one another through good times and bad, through break-up and rejection and put-down. Men are present but mostly as eye-candy. Each of the three would-be other halves are presentable in a metrosexual sort of way: the principal yardstick of their acceptability boils down to just one question: is he hot?

To which the answer is, invariably, yes.

Conventions are broken – this is, after all, a film about women who decide to take the social road less frequented, and go out and grab a man. Still, it remains grounded by holding firmly to deep-seated vulnerabilities that each experiences.

Optimistic? Definitely: sometimes overly so. However, to well-drawn characters, interesting, often surprising situations – from Ryan's exploits in stilettos to Lucy's head-butting her yoga instructor into unconsciousness - add sharp, observant, frequently very funny lines and this film is definitely on its way to being a hit.

At least amongst the women in the audience. Whether men will like it quite so much – especially if they cotton on to the role reversal on screen – I am not so sure.

Reviewed on: 28 May 2017
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The Wedding Invitation packshot
Three women try to find dates for the wedding event of the year.


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