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Wedding Daze DVD Review

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Movie & DVD Details

Writer/Director: Michael Ian Black

Cast: Jason Biggs (Anderson Wells), Isla Fisher (Katie), Michael Weston (Ted), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Matador), Joe Pantoliano (Smitty), Heather Goldenhersh (Jane), Joanna Gleeson (Lois), Edward Herrmann (Lyle Wells), Margo Martindale (Betsy Wells), Mark Consuelos (Morty), Audra Blaser (Vanessa), Matt Malloy (Stuart), Rob Corddry (Kyle), Jay O. Sanders (Sheriff), Chris Diamantopoulos (William), Kevin Allison (Hal), Roger Robinson (Dr. Favreau), Teodorina Bello (Rhonda)

Video Debut: January 15, 2008 / Running Time: 92 Minutes / Rating: R

1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1.33:1 Reformatted Fullscreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98 (Was $26.98) / Double-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-10)

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Wedding Daze belongs to the sizable class of films that are made for theaters but never make it there. Actually, this new comedy did see the inside of cinemas as far-reaching as the United Kingdom, Russia, and Hong Kong. It played in these and other international markets throughout 2007 and has a few more to go (it just opened in Israel).
But in its home country, the United States, it has been relegated to direct-to-video status, where it arrives sharing a title with a 2004 John Larroquette telemovie instead of its original appellation, The Pleasure of Your Company, or working title The Next Girl I See.

The movie centers on Anderson Wells (Jason Biggs, American Pie), a young man we don't know much about aside from the fact that his attempt at a romantic marriage proposal -- involving body oil, a homemade Cupid costume, and a restaurant -- resulted in his girlfriend's sudden death. A year later, Anderson is out of work and still not over Vanessa's passing, despite ample encouragement from his well-meaning best friend Ted (Michael Weston). The prodding to "move on" leads Anderson on a whim to propose to Katie (Isla Fisher, Wedding Crashers), a pretty, unknown diner waitress who catches his eye before taking his order. Much to his surprise, she accepts and we're strapped in for the ride of love at first sight taken to the extreme.

This is all that Anderson sees of Katie (Isla Fisher) before deciding to propose to her. Katie and Anderson (Jason Biggs) share a laugh while sitting atop a hill of junk.

Wedding Daze is unquestionably a romantic comedy, but it's one that puts more into the comedy part than the romance. That's somewhat to be expected, for the movie represents the feature-length debut of writer-director Michael Ian Black, a man you may know as part of the mid-'90s MTV sketch comedy troupe "The State", his subsequent nightclub-turned-Comedy Central trio "Stella", or perhaps more likely, Sierra Mist commercials and his many appearances on VH1's "I Love the..." memory lane trips.

Black has rounded up an impressive roster of experienced talent for this little indie, produced by GreeneStreet Films. The movie does deliver some laughs, enough to keep it a notch above the direct-to-video and made-for-TV fare and to ensure that were this ever plopped in American theaters, there would undoubtedly be worse competition. That's not ringing praise, but it's a fair assessment of a project that reaches mediocrity in spite of a clunky premise and an adherence to the generally hackneyed formulas of the modern-day romcom.

The various hijinks that ensue are probably as funny on paper as they are on film. Most of the gags are broad and predictable. Some are meant to be subversive or racy. Either way, few are genuinely entertaining, and the story gets lost as we continuously question how little realism is to be expected. For whatever reason, the film takes its far-fetched central relationship seriously and apparently we're also supposed to while being dragged through the inevitable shenanigans of disapproving parents, legal run-ins, and comic ideas that aren't fully developed.

Anderson has difficulty acting out his assigned movie title, proving he's not the Charades player that Katie's near-fiancι is. Some viewers will consider goofy wannabe circus performers Matador (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Jane (Heather Goldenhersh) one of the film's bright spots.

Wedding Daze somewhat makes up for its flimsy concept and numerous poor ideas with spirited performances. About as surprising as the fact that Jason Biggs is still getting leading roles is that that he's not a bad fit. Though playing a character who's not very well-written, Biggs does okay with work that requires a poor, poor man's younger alternative to a Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler.
Isla Fisher weaves in and out of her Australian accent, which makes the viewer wish it was written into the film because otherwise, she has fun with her confusing part. Supporting performances also help to overlook the script's need of polish. While veterans like Joe Pantoliano and Jay O. Sanders are comfortable in material they're too good for, unfamiliar faces Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Heather Goldenhersh earn more notice for the non-sequiturs they deliver as Katie's friends, Gypsy circus performers trapped in the bodies of diner employees.

In the end, though, while parts of Wedding Daze may amuse and the whole is pretty easy to take for an R-rated video premiere, the movie just doesn't win one over. Like Katie's stepfather Stuart (Matt Malloy) says, "Doesn't really work." He's referring to the Jewla-Hoop (a hula hoop shaped like the Star of David), one of many Semitic toys he's manufactured in his home workshop, but he could just as easily be referring to the film he's in.


Wedding Daze is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. I can't comment on either too much, since the subject of this review was a single-layered screener significantly marred by excess compression and not indicative of the final product, which according to the press release, is a flipper disc that also includes a fullscreen version. That said, the soundtrack here is fairly dull, needing to be turned up and sounding more like two-channel Surround than full 5.1, which might not matter if not for the intermittent showcasing of tunes from indie pop/rock bands.

Lois (Joanna Gleeson) and Smitty (Joe Pantoliano) share an intimate conversation in the very back of an open car. The static main menu employs eight stills, five of which are visible on 4x3 televisions.


All we get in the way of bonus features are three deleted scenes that add up to five minutes. They are: an alternate opening with an unfunny misunderstanding,
a gross additional appearance by Vanessa (Audra Blaser), and a scene between Smitty (Pantoliano) and Lois (Joanna Gleeson) that sets up a tuxedo store run and sheds some light on their relationship. They're worth watching, but neither cry for reinsertion nor add much value to the disc.

The simple menus feature a straightforward collection of stills against a red and white scheme, with heart cursors being the extent of flair. Playing at disc insertion is a preview for the sports spoof The Comebacks. Being just a screener copy, I can't comment on packaging and contents, though one can't overlook the fact that the cover art's title logo is nearly identical in style to the American Pie movies, as if Fox and MGM thought they might trick inattentive customers into thinking this was a new entry to Universal's ongoing line of direct-to-video sex comedy sequels to Biggs' biggest hits.

Who'd have guessed there are some bumps in the road for Anderson and Katie? I suppose they're not your typical romantic comedy couple... Katie looks forward to her first night living with Anderson by wearing only his shirt over her underwear, but she'll soon learn not to tempt a man with toothpaste in his mouth.


If you are a fan of the many familiar cast members or the humor of writer-director Michael Ian Black, then you might want to check out Wedding Daze on a night you're craving a one-viewing comedy. It's not bad enough to bear the stigma of going straight to video but not good enough to lament the lack of a theatrical release. In other words, you'd be just fine missing this mediocre movie, but if you're in the right mindset, willing to accept a low joke success rate, and able to tolerate the occasional gross-out, you could do worse than renting this flick.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

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The Heartbreak Kid • License to Wed • Kickin' It Old Skool • Balls of Fury • Eagle vs Shark
New to DVD: When Harry Met Sally... (Collector's Edition) • An Affair to Remember (50th Anniversary Edition)

Featuring the Cast of Wedding Daze:
Jason Biggs: Eight Below • Over Her Dead Body | Isla Fisher: Confessions of a Shopaholic • The Lookout
Edward Herrmann: The North Avenue Irregulars • Nixon (Election Year Edition) • Hatching Pete | Jay O. Sanders: The Big Green
Rob Corddry: Unaccompanied Minors | Michael Weston: Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season

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Reviewed January 15, 2008.

Text copyright 2008 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2008 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, GreeneStreet Films, Fugitive Films, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.