J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Breakup at the Wedding: Toast Those Nuptials

Everyone has been to a head-scratchingly wacky wedding.  Usually, this has something to do with your friends’ soon-to-be in-laws’ massive collection of quirks.  If you cannot think of a good example from personal experience, than chances are we’re talking about your wedding here.  It is a pretty bullet-proof comedic premise that Victor Quinaz mines with workmanlike diligence in Breakup at a Wedding (clip here), which launches today on VOD.

Wedding videographer Vic James thought he had seen it all, but then he accepted the Jones-Havemeyer wedding gig.  This one is going to get messy, but he will keep the camera rolling, getting every embarrassingly private moment out of perverse sense of perfectionism.  He prides himself on capturing moments his competitors overlook, such as the signing of the marriage license. 

Unfortunately, that might not happen this time.  Alison Jones has a wicked case of cold feet, but the whole dog-and-pony show is already paid for, so she convinces her more-or-less dumped fiancé Phil Havemeyer to go through the motions with her.  However, Havemeyer is not going down without a fight, especially on his wedding day.

Okay, so Victor Quinaz and his co-writers, co-lead-brother Philip and co-star-wife Anna Martemucci, do not exactly create a cinematic milestone with Breakup, but their jokes are funny, more often than not.  Appearing as the mostly unseen wedding cameraman, Victor Quinaz is an effectively acerbic guide to the mayhem, who keeps the proceedings snappy.

Hardy comedy troupe performers Alison Fyhrie and the other Quinaz also nicely balance earnest likability and full-throated mania as Jones and Havemeyer, respectively.  The rest of the ensemble careens all over the map with wild abandon, but Mary Grill delivers some memorably tart-tongued laughs as Maid of Honor on the prowl, Mary Kowalchik.

Frankly, there is not a lot of gross-out Hangover-style material in Breakup.  Instead, the Quinazes and Martemuccis (several of whom appear in smaller supporting roles) derive the comedy from the situation and their characters, which is a much cleverer approach.  It is a family affair after all (co-produced by Zachary “Mr. Spock” Quinto, so take note neo-Trekkers).

This is the perfect film for VOD impulse viewing, because it will makes viewers laugh quite a bit, but it does not leave them with much to carry around afterward.  Oscilloscope Laboratories has also scheduled a series of buzz building brick-and-mortar screenings (including the 4-Star Theatre in San Francisco tonight, 6/18), so check out their website for details.  Recommended for those looking for a number of guilt-free laughs, Breakup at a Wedding is now available through Oscilloscope’s VOD and digital platforms.

Labels: ,