A typical gag in “The Knot” finds a bumbling groomsman fishing for silver wedding bands in a diarrhea-filled toilet bowl. Viewers searching for moments of wit or insight in this cheerless, frankly offensive Brit romantic comedy might relate. The third feature this year from producer and one-man script factory Noel Clarke, who also stars as a cocky best man, it’s also not the first 2012 release to try (and fail) to ape the sweetly smutty wedding farce perfected by “Bridesmaids,” tweaking the formula with retrograde gender politics, iffy ethnic stereotypes and limply disguised homophobia. Blighty auds should be otherwise engaged.Framed using a homevideo device that comes and goes, freshman helmer Jesse Lawrence’s poorly paced pic takes place over a single day, cutting between the equally hapless wedding entourages of doe-eyed nearlyweds Jeremy and Alexandra (Matthew McNulty and Talulah Riley, appealing actors for whom better things hopefully await). A crass checklist of nuptial embarrassments — vengeful exes, randy senior relatives, arrival at the wrong church — is laboriously completed before drippy, unearned sentiment takes over in the final reel. Tech package, including overlit lensing and clunky musical cues, is barely adequate.
A Universal Pictures (in U.K.) release of a the Works presentation of an Unstoppable Entertainment, New Treatment production in association with Beactive Entertainment. (International sales: Exile Media Group, London.) Produced by Noel Clarke, Roslyn Hill, Enrico Tessarin. Executive producers, Hakan Kousetta, Josh Varney, Johnny Fewings. Co-producers, Nuno Bernardo, Triona Campbell, Louise Dylan, Junior Quartey, Jason Maza. Directed by Jesse Lawrence. Screenplay, Noel Clarke, Davie Fairbanks, Geoff Carino.
Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Trevor Forrest; editor, Tom Hemmings; music, Adam Lewis; music supervisor, Martyn Berg; production designer, Paul Burns; art director, Keith Dunne; costume designer, Andy Blake; sound, Paul Cameron; re-recording mixer, Scott Jones; stunt coordinator, Peter Pedrero; line producer, Greg McManus; associate producer, Andy Thompson; assistant director, Stuart A.C. Williams; second unit camera, Mirko Pincelli; casting, Briony Barnett. Reviewed at Vue West End, London, Oct. 5, 2012. Running time: 92 MIN.
Matthew McNulty, Talulah Riley, Noel Clarke, Mena Suvari, Susannah Fielding, Brett Goldstein, Louise Dylan, Davie Fairbanks, Jason Maza, Juliet Oldfield, Rhoda Montemayor, Flaminia Cinque, Vincenzo Nicoli, Steven Cree, Michael Warburton, Christopher Villiers, Liza Sadovy, Joan Blackham, Junior Quartey, Kojo.