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The Wedding Day

"The Wedding Day" puts a stage-honed ensemble of thesps through their paces with malicious intent. Screen version of hit play has the cohesive feeling of one very long night during which the facade of romance and cordiality crumbles for bride, groom and guests. Fests not averse to mainstream fare should send an engraved invitation.

With:
With: Denis Cherer, Valerie Baurens, Stephane Boutet, Patrick Zard, Marie-Helene Lentini, Veronique Barrault, Fred Nony, Valerie Vogt, Pierre-Jean Cherrer, Francoise Lepine, Maaike Jansen, Catherine Ekerle, Jean-Pierre Jacovella, Jean Martiny, Gwenaelle Simon, Renato Ribeiro, Eric Laugerias, Bernard Fructus, Benjamin Egner.

A nasty and cynical wedding pic that’s surprisingly entertaining, “The Wedding Day” puts a stage-honed ensemble of comic-character thesps through their paces with malicious intent. Screen version of helmer Didier Caron’s hit play has the cohesive feeling of one very long night during which the facade of romance and cordiality crumbles for bride, groom and well-delineated guests, with only the inept caterer and wacky over-the-hill band escaping unscathed. Fests not averse to mainstream fare should send an engraved invitation.

Gynecologist Christophe (Denis Cherrer) is marrying lawyer Mathilde (Valerie Baurens). Her divorced parents hate each other. Skirt-chasing car salesman Patrice (Fred Nony) comes with his family. Ultra-henpecked Jean (Patrick Zard) comes with his controlling wife Yvonne (Marie-Helene Lentini). He has an unspoken crush on Mathilde’s sardonic best friend Cecile (Veronique Barrault). Serial adulterer Yvan (Pierre-Jean Cherer) escorts the woman he’s leading on. Best man Francois (Stephane Boutet), the bride’s dashing ex-b.f. is the groom’s buddy. Post-ceremony, he confesses his undiminished love to Mathilde, immediately debunking all homilies about speaking one’s heart. Entirely French in its humor yet resonant universally, pic’s a time-waster that’s not a complete waste of time.

The Wedding Day

France

Production: A UGC Distribution release of a Charles Gassot and Gerard Louvin presentation of a Telema, TF1 Films Prod., KGD Communication production with participation of TPS Star. (International sales: TF1 Intl., Boulogne-Billancourt, France.) Produced by Charles Gassot. Executive producer, Jacques Hinstin. Directed, written by Didier Caron, based on his play; screenplay collaboration, Amanda Sthers, Sabrina Compeyron.

Crew: Camera (color), Pascal Gennesseaux; editor, Veronique Parnet; music, Les Cochons dans L'Espace; production designer, Jean-Marc Kerdelhue; costume designer, Valerie Gueguan. Reviewed at UGC Odeon, Paris, July 19, 2005. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Denis Cherer, Valerie Baurens, Stephane Boutet, Patrick Zard, Marie-Helene Lentini, Veronique Barrault, Fred Nony, Valerie Vogt, Pierre-Jean Cherrer, Francoise Lepine, Maaike Jansen, Catherine Ekerle, Jean-Pierre Jacovella, Jean Martiny, Gwenaelle Simon, Renato Ribeiro, Eric Laugerias, Bernard Fructus, Benjamin Egner.

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