“Listen honey, you have to trust me on this. A Christmas wedding will be perfect, something no one would expect.”
– a line said unironically by the future mom-in-law
Where I Watched: Netflix
Genre: Crappy Holiday “Get Happy Dammit” Stories
New Holiday Spirit or Ghost of Christmas Past?: An extremely wobbly riff on It’s A Wonderful Life.
Synopsis: Jennifer is engaged to a nice guy with a pushy mom. But Jen is pining for Gabby, her teenage BFF she loved and lost. So Jen’s guardian angel Azrael shows her what her life could have been like if she and Gabby has gotten together. But Jen only gets 48 hours to check that out. Because sure. I need more eggnog. LOTS more eggnog.
Unwrap or regift?: WTH is going on in this film? Wedding throws viewers into its opening scene – what we later find out is a flashback – with zero info on what the deal is with young Jennifer and Gabby. (Plus, the older and younger versions of the main character don’t look alike at all.) Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone into this one knowing nothing about it.
Plus, the script is a mess. There are setups, but no payoffs. Storylines with no depth, just deep ideas tossed around. Teen pregnancy, coming out, suicide, familial death, hipster gay fetus angels… Okay that last one may not be deep, just odd. But it’s in here y’all. And boy there’s a lot to unpack. But since the creators of this unhappy mess don’t seem to want to set up a plot that can be easily understood, why should I? Plus, after watching Wedding, I feel noticeably dumber.
I didn’t feel wholly invested at all any point in the story, because unlike It’s A Wonderful Life, I kept trying to figure out what the point of this alternate world was. Has she been that torn up about Gabby this whole time, or only after seeing Gabby in the alternate world? I don’t know, and I don’t think the film’s creators know either.
Jen is a passive protagonist, having things happen to her, rather than actually doing something to move herself forward. She’s unhappy with her upcoming wedding? Boom – guardian angel to show her what her life would have been like if she and Gabby had been endgame. Jen doesn’t want to go back to her old life? Boom – Jen’s guardian angel suddenly says he can take her back in time if she wants. [Spoiler, but trust me, I just did you a favor.] No emotional climax ala George’s bridge breakdown at the end of Life. Just a quiet, mumbled “I want that”. So she gets it. It’s the emotional equivalent of Melba toast; yeah, it’ll fill you up if you’re desperate, but will you enjoy it? That’s a big ol’ nope.
This is yet another film where the premise is very interesting, but the creators mishandle the plot so horribly that instead of being sweet and poignant, it’s both heavy handed and vague. Sounds like an incompatible blend? Ah, you’re learning, grasshopper. And it’s a damn shame, as the idea of a woman who has been hiding the bulk of her emotions for years, then gets a chance to see how things could be different if she opened up? That’s fascinating. But not how it’s handled here.
Ugh; I definitely did not have enough eggnog to get through this without thinking. As much as I want to applaud the same sex love story here, Wedding is a sloppy, undercooked mess of a story that can’t even be saved by the cute onscreen chemistry between the female leads. Give this one a pass, unless you’re hoping to get disappointment for the holidays.
Score: 1 out of 5 Hos. One star for Chris Noth’s turn as Father Big (or whatever that characters name is. I was too uninvested in the whole film mess to care.)