Dec 10, 2014

Review: A Christmas Wedding (2006)

You got to hand it to the main characters of A Christmas Wedding. I can actually see the draw for non-traditional wedding dates, but Christmas Day?!? People make plans for Christmas, some people even go away for Christmas. Some people don't want to do anything on Christmas Day, like me. Personally I like to spend all day in my pajamas with all my new loot. It sure is lucky that the extended families of Emily and Ben plan their Christmases around this wedding. I'm glad it never even posed a problem.

A Christmas Wedding proves that you cannot get away from Trailer Park Boys if you film in Nova Scotia. I didn't know that this movie was even filmed there at all until I saw Cory Bowles playing a car rental agent. I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd see another familiar face which ended up being Jeremy Akerman, the second time I see him in a Christmas TV movie this year.


Genre: comedy, romance
Directed by: Michael Zinberg
Produced by: Michael Mahoney, Thomas Becker, Matt Dorff, etc.
Written by: Richard Cray
Music by: David Schwartz
Running time: 89 minutes
Production company: Robert Greenwald Productions
Distributed by: Lifetime Television
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Sarah Paulson, Eric Mabius, Richard Blackburn, Dean Cain, Reagan Pasternak, Art Hindle, Louise Pitre, Mimi Kuzyk, George Buza, Owen Pattison, Dwayne Hill, Bill McFadden, Astrid Van Wieren, Janessa Hunt, Sherry Smith, Joan Gregson, Lee J. Campbell, Jeremy Akerman



Emily (Sarah Paulson) met Ben (Eric Mabius) two years ago on a skating rink during Christmas. They dated for a whole year before Ben popped the question, also on Christmas, so they just had to have their wedding on the Christmas of next year. Things take a slight turn for the worse when Emily is dragged by her boss (Dean Cain) on a business trip with plans to return only a few days before the wedding. That's when all hell breaks loose.


I'm going to start by saying that I can actually see the potential for A Christmas Wedding. Imagine, Emily has to go away for work and make her way back in time for the ceremony. Things go wrong all the time, but she finds alternate ways to get back home, meeting a number of bizarre and cool people along the way. At the same time, both Emily and Ben question their relationship with each other and also have to resist temptation from other parties. It's not terribly original but I can see it being alright and sort of fun.

It's too bad that A Christmas Wedding is the farthest thing from fun. It's devoid of laughs, romance and it presents a series of increasingly ridiculous and unbelievable situations. Emily gets delayed again and again by the likes of a tropical storm, a lost child, a snow storm and more. No one can take this sort of thing seriously, but if Richard Cray had managed to make light of these situations, at least it could've been funny for the viewer to watch. Cray seems to think that presenting all this in steadfast seriousness is the best way of doing things though, but whatever. It's not my script.

But seriously, how dumb can Emily be to think that running through a security check in an airport will get her to her airplane in time? We're living in a post-911 world now and I don't care how desperate someone is to get to their wedding. You have to be brain dead to think that's OK, or you're just living in a movie with a bad script.

I think it's pretty clear that the script is pretty much the biggest handicap of A Christmas Wedding, story-wise and dialogue-wise. Everything from the characters to the situations are sickly contrived. The overbearing mother? Check. The bridal shower with gifts of thongs and a male stripper? Check. Talk about how Christmas gives you a special feeling inside? Check. It's all there.

The dialogue in particular is an easy target to point your finger at. I can't really speak for the acting talents of Sarah Paulson and Eric Mabius outside of ACW, but I can easily see that they're working with bad material. No one could look good with Richard Cray's dialogue and it's easy to see why he's had such a short career in film. Paulson and Mabius do seem to have problems developing any chemistry between their on-screen characters though and they both have their weak individual moments too. It's a good thing that they spend most of the movie away from one another.

A Christmas Wedding is more like a funeral for all things that are good about romantic comedies and movies in general. It gets everything wrong and probably a little bit more. ACW is unmercifully soulless and cruel in its unending attempts at driving me up the wall and I advise that you stay far, far away from it this holiday season. 



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