MGM // 2006 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Adam Arseneau (Retired) // February 8th, 2008
Marrying a complete stranger is a life sentence.
Wedding Daze, a.k.a. The Pleasure Of Your Company looks at first glance to be another in a line of stupid Jason Biggs comedies. For the record, this is thankfully not true, but one is hard-pressed to come up with any more kind things to say about it.
Anderson (Jason Biggs, American Pie) has the best girlfriend in the entire world -- smart, beautiful, and charming, she is the perfect woman for him. Against the advice of his friends, he decides to propose to her. His friends are okay with the proposal...just not the manner in which he goes about doing it. His idea of a romantic gesture is to strip down naked into a cupid outfit with little wings, march into a crowded restaurant and surprise her on the spot. It works in a sense. She is surprised all right, but the shock of seeing her boyfriend in a cupid outfit stops her heart dead.
A year later, Anderson is still deep in self-loathing and mourning for having proposed his girlfriend to death. His friend Ted (Michael Weston) encourages him to get over it and move on with another girl, so Anderson grabs the first girl he sees -- a cute waitress at a local diner -- and pops the question. To everyone's surprise, she accepts.
As it turns out, Kate (Isla Fisher, Wedding Crashers) has been proposed to by her longtime perfect boyfriend, but found herself racked with doubt. Believing love should be spontaneous she jumps at the random proposal and rushes out the door with a stunned Anderson, who was only half-serious in the first place. Having gotten the hard proposal part out of the way, the two now need to get down to business -- getting to know each other.
The most endearing elements of Wedding Daze occur squarely within the first ten minutes when we are introduced to the hapless protagonist and the string of unfortunate events that set the film into motion, i.e., when Jason Biggs dresses up as Cupid and kills his fiancée. The comedy literally writes itself here. The premise is so terribly stupid, so darkly comedic that the resulting excretion of mediocre romantic comedy pap that follows for the next 80 minutes is all the more tragic. With an opening salvo like that, it is depressing to see how dull and mediocre Wedding Daze plays out. Oh, the potential.
A cruel reviewer could dismiss the movie as entirely disposable garbage, but this would be doing the film a disservice, at least in part. True, Wedding Daze is a lackluster romantic comedy, failing to emote anything resembling any dictionary definition of "romantic" or "comedic." The film is relatively good-natured and inoffensive, trying hard to be quirky and subversive without having any idea how to go about doing such a thing, and while it may fail to make the heartstrings soar or the funny bone shake, the 90 minutes pass by relatively easily. The engine might stall after the first ten minutes, sure, but the momentum gathered in that brief time slowly coasts the film across the finish line. In short, Wedding Daze does not suck; it merely makes vain gasps for air periodically.
The premise of love being a whirlwind spontaneous affair personified by two total strangers agreeing to get married to one another is the kind of hit-or-miss movie fodder that delegates common sense to the lower basement, where it sulks like a lost child. Sure, the idea is good for a laugh or two (or in the case of Wedding Daze, a mild chuckle and no more) but what little ideas can be generated from the notion are rather clichéd and farfetched. Wedding Daze solves the problem by simply upping the ante as the film rolls on, creating more bizarre and irrational behavior -- by the end of the film, the cast has grown exponentially, people break out of prison, a peculiarly large amount of bad Jewish jokes are thrown in for no good measure whatsoever, everyone gets arrested, and Rob Corddry shows up. The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse would cause less of a racket. Forget about trying to draw any sensible conclusions here. The filmmakers literally just throw their hands up about halfway through the film, say "nuts to this" and go for broke, letting logic break down at the side of the road like a jalopy. On the bright side, at least the film gets more interesting along the way, if only for the sake of incredulity.
In terms of acting, nobody works up too much of a sweat here. Everyone clearly had a fun time on camera, and the jolly spirit of the cast does permeate into their performances. It would be a lot easier to outright dismiss a movie where nobody was having fun. Jason Biggs is charming in his American Pie clumsy dork sort of way, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. A significant portion of credit must go to Isla Fisher for being effervescently charming and delightfully adorable throughout the film -- without her, Wedding Daze would probably be a lost cause. As for the rest of the cast, seasoned actors like Joe Pantoliano and funnyman Rob Corddry are just here for a paycheck.
It should be noted that DVD Verdict received a watermarked screener copy of Wedding Daze for review, so it is possible that the retail version will not suck as much. In any case, our version looks a bit rough around the edges -- colors are overly saturated, and compression artifacts are clearly noticeable. The whole picture is just a messy, incoherent jumbled affair of bleeding colors, jagged lines and pulsating blobs. The blobs freak me out the most.
The audio comes in a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround presentation which is noticeably more refined than its visual counterpart, with clear dialogue, moderate bass response and well-balanced environmental effects. The center channel dialogue was not as punchy as one might expect, leading to some volume adjusting to catch spoken lines.
As for extras, we get a lousy three deleted scenes -- lousy because of the quantity of supplements included, double lousy for the specific lousiness of said scenes.
At some point somebody thought it was a wise idea to rename The Pleasure of Your Company to Wedding Daze and stick Jason Biggs on the front cover in a red-and-white layout reminiscent of another infamous comedy starring said actor. The film in question involves a pie. Even the logo is strongly reminiscent of this pie-related comedy. Whoever did this to Wedding Daze made a terrible move. The packaging, the stupid new title; everything about the presentation conveys mindless comedic pestilence upon viewers who have no choice but to pass judgment upon its contents far in advance of anyone ever taking it home off the shelf. This is cinematic self-destruction at its most refined.
Wedding Daze has been kicking around since 2006 and is only now seeing distribution, hurtling straight to DVD with zero fanfare. I have no doubt in my mind that the executives simply had no idea what to do with a Jason Biggs film that had no semen jokes in it. Not romantic enough to be a romantic film, not comedic enough to be a straight-out comedy, it simply languished, flailing about like a carp on a cottage dock.
This is not American Pie. This is not a teen gross-out comedy. This isn't even a comedy, strictly speaking, or else I would have laughed a lot more than I did. Buyers beware -- there is some devious marketing at work here.
Wedding Daze offers little incentive to viewers to delve its shallow depths, but for those brave enough to take the plunge into its tepid waters, a banal but utterly harmless comedy awaits. This will not be the worst comedy you end up seeing this year, but no sense scraping the barrel unless you have to.
This one barely escapes conviction, in part to Isla Fisher being too damn cute.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Deleted Scenes
* Official Site