Review: ‘Joe’s Wedding’

Piffle masquerading as a movie, the sitcom-skinny "Joe's Wedding" is padded out with phony come-ons and ancient screwball plot twists. Expect a quick divorce. Endless "comedy" resembles Canuck version of "Carry On" series in its final years, with lots of eye-rolling and leering chatter, and absolutely no goods delivered. Pic starts with former rocker Joe (D.W. Moffett) about to marry into big money --- his fiancee's father runs a demolition firm --- when a nutso performance artist named Uta (Kate Vernon) kidnaps Joe, who thinks she's part of his stag do. She chains him to a huge, presumably deactivated mine and, in the morning, reveals that the demo daddy is evicting her from her whitewashed Toronto loft. Therefore, of course, she's holding him hostage.

What follows are some exceptionally lowbrow shenanigans that revel in their own alleged cuteness, and it’s not a pretty sight. The lame single-entendres and cartoon-scaled characterizations would be tedious even if they weren’t so overly familiar, and attempts to weigh in philosophically, via Uta’s socially minded rants, only make the scripters look more foolish.

Bad casting doesn’t help. While Moffettis likable enough in the lead role, his brand of charm actually works against the movie’s aims. He certainly strikes no sparks with bland Tammy Isbell, as his uptight intended, who would not conceivably be friends with the punky, shaven-headed Julie (Sabrina Grdevich), who is part of the nonsensical package.

Helmer Michael Kennedy shot dozens of film segs for the “Kids in the Hall” series, and he knows how to move people around when things heat up. But the boiling point here is impossibly high. In short, it’s a pic in which a leather-clad dominatrix cuffs a naked man to a giant metal ball, and it isn’t funny, edgy or remotely sexy. And it’s one in which we’re supposed to laugh when low-riding hosers run over a pair of prized swans. Music and tech credits are serviceable.

Joe's Wedding



An Astral Entertainment (in Canada) release of an ARTO-pelli Motion Pictures production. Produced by Stavros C. Stavrides. Executive producers, Wolf Scmidt, Ciro Dammicco. Co-producers, Tony Johnston, John Dolin. Directed by Michael Kennedy. Screenplay, Tony Johnston, John Dolin.


Camera (color), Ludek Bogner; editor, Bill Goddard; music, Mark Korven; production design, Raymond Lorenz; costumes, Judith England; casting, Susan Forrest, Craig Campobasso. Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival, Oct. 17, 1996. Running time: 100 MIN.


D.W. Moffett, Kate Vernon, Tammy Isbell, David Hewlitt, Aidin Devine, Sabrina Grdevich, Harvey Atkin, Jayne Eastwood, Peter Keleghan, Sean Power, Maria Syrgiannis, Lesley Kelly, Carlo Rota.
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