When The Wedding Bros first came in the mail, I saw that one of its stars Dan Fogler (Kung Fu Panda) appeared to be a dead ringer for a younger Maury Chaykin (I'll pause while some of you Google him). I found this pleasantly surprising. Then I looked on the back of the DVD case and noticed that the film claims to be "in the vein" of Step-Brothers, Wedding Crashers and I Love You, Man. But those are lies. The only thing this film has in its "veins" is sickness...something more similar to a strain of meningitis. Maybe they were thinking of a different movie when they added this phrase.
The film was written and directed by Michael Canzoniero and Marco Ricci, whose previous collaboration was on the 2002 independent film Hyper. The Wedding Bros takes place on Long Island, where Carmine (Fogler) and Anthony (Brendan Sexton, Boys Don't Cry) lay carpet and work for their father. While on a job for a customer named Lou (Jon Polito, Miller's Crossing), they discover that a quicker way to fortune would be to be part of Lou's crew for weddings, handling filming and sound. However, they find out just how much Lou is dedicated to his craft.
Lou looks for the perfect moments to capture during a entire ceremony, from arrivals to receptions. He uses hand gestures, stepladders for sweeping scenes leaving the church, trying to make sure everything he films is perfect, so he can present the perfect wedding document for the married couple. It's funny because when you see the tapes, they ooze cheese. Lots of silly visual effect wipes, cutting to slightly pervy black and white film of bridal party members in their dressing room, but God bless Lou, he takes pride in what he does. He just manages to deliver it in a weird way. Lou also manages to get unhinged when he sees his ex-wife at the wedding. Sonya (Patti D'Arbanville, World Trade Center) was a part of the business, handling photography, but she and Lou split when she caught Lou cheating on her. Anthony meets Lauren (Zoe Lister Jones, State of Play), who works for Sonya at the ceremony, and the two start to hit it off, perhaps to the chagrin of Carmine.
Now, since the folks behind The Wedding Bros claimed their film was like the ones I mentioned earlier, I was interested to see the similarities. I mean, Wedding Crashers is hilarious and looks at marriage from a cynical point of view that warms up eventually. Whereas The Wedding Bros has the bulk of the film set in a wedding. I guess that's similar, but there is no laugh out loud moments, no hook to bring you in, because the brothers are doing what they did in the carpet store, except now they're wearing tuxedos. Sure, the Anthony-Lauren friendship is cute, but nothing special. And as for whether or not it's in the range of the genuinely felt cinematic bloodstream of I Love You, Man, look no further than in the way Carmine and Anthony interact. It's been done before, and there's no real tenderness between the brothers that makes it funny or charming. And as far as Step Brothers goes, well, neither film has Will Ferrell in it, so I guess that's something. Zing!
While I liked watching Polito, and Fogler has the begrudgingly occasional laugh (including a funny impression of Polito), I can't say that I was impressed by The Wedding Bros. What happens in the film is not funny or original, and couldn't be further away from the vein of films of which it aspires to be a part.
Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, The Wedding Bros looks fine. Film grain is present though most of the film and does become obtrusive in some sequences. Blacks aren't really that deep, but the wedding shots look good and it's free from much of the usual video problems, as it's a screener copy for review purposes.
It's surprising to me that this sleepy little independent film has a 5.1 surround track. But when a portion of the movie is in Lou's basement, and you see the soundboards and video effect equipment, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Dialogue is still weak in long scenes in the movie, but there's speaker panning from front to back channels, along with a directional effect or two. So I have to give them credit for trying, I guess.
The extras include a director's commentary and extended scene, however the screening copy does not include those. The grade will be modified upon receipt of a final copy.
The Wedding Bros wants to be like other comedies that have weddings or brothers in them, but its delivery falls flat. The actors try their best with what they have, but the truth is that there is nothing even remotely promising to work from. If it was going to salute one of its predecessors, The Wedding Bros would be "in the vein" of neither wedding nor brother relationship films, but rather something like My Best Friend's Wedding, if you flipped channels back and forth to The Sopranos, all the while drinking lighter fluid during the exercise. Better to skip this for some better cinematic fare.