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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Confetti
Confetti
Fox // R // March 6, 2007
List Price: $27.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jamie S. Rich | posted February 13, 2007 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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THE MOVIE:

Confetti is an infectious British comedy modeled in the style of a Christopher Guest mockumentary. Directed by Debbie Isitt from her own original concept, the film assembles a troupe of talented television actors for a winning story about a wedding competition.

Looking for an event to spice up their newsstand presence, Confetti magazine puts out a call for original wedding ideas. The top three will be chosen to have their ceremony performed in a tournament, and the winning couple will be awarded a house to start their new lives in. The finalists are a grab bag of oddballs and nutcases. Isabelle (Meredith MacNeill) and Josef (Stephan Magnan) are a pair of tennis pros with a vicious sense of competition, in sharp contrast to the naturists (read: nudists) couple, Joanna (Olivia Colman) and Michael (Robert Webb), whose hippy-dippy streak is sometimes overshadowed by Michael's anger issues. Don't tell him to cover up his naughty bits, or he might lose it on you.

Then there is the most normal couple, Matt and Sam, played by Martin Freeman (The Office) and Jessica Stevenson (Spaced, The Royle Family). They want to have a wedding in the style of 1930s MGM musicals. The only problem: neither can really dance or carry a tune.

The couples are put in the care of two wedding planners, long-term lovers Archie (Vincent Franklin) and Gregory (Jason Watkins). As Gregory explains it, he's the poof and Archie is the straight man. Gregory provides the style, Archie gets things done. It's a dangerous career in normal wedding situations, but when a prize is at stake and three ceremonies have to come off at once, pleasing the magazine first and the bride and groom second, they've got their jobs cut out for them. How to convince two nudists to get dressed for their big day when their whole idea was to be naked? How to contend with two athletes when the groom is forever jealous of his wife's coach and his oh-so Spanish ways? Not even Matt and Sam are going to make it easy on them. She has an overbearing mother (Alison Steadman) and a sister (Sarah Hadland) who is a dancer on a cruise ship and wants to choreograph everything. Maybe worse is Matt's best man, Snoopy (Marc Wootton), a wannabe rocker with a case of arrested development whose songs all sound like screeds against his buddy's fiancé.

Shot with handheld cameras and edited together almost like a reality TV show, Confetti tracks the three months of planning leading up to the big finish--the triptych of ceremonies. Interviews are cut in with the conflagrations that erupt in the planning sessions, and we get to know all of the couples and what drives them. Since there was no real script, the funny business rests on the shoulders of the actors. Isitt did an excellent job of putting together the right combinations, and each pair has the appropriate chemistry. The tennis players are aggressive and at odds, the naturists are unbalanced, and the musical fans are both sweet and kind of shy. Martin Freeman is always good for tossing out a look of bemused disbelief, and no one is as charming as Jessica Stevenson when it comes to portraying a mess. It's the wedding planners, Archie and Gregory, who run away with the show, however. They get put through the ringer, but they are more than a match for their bridezillas. Seeing Archie put Josef onto the floor of the tennis court is one of the most righteously funny things I've seen in a while.

While a lot of the humor is derived from how steadfastly the different people stick to their ridiculous ideas, Isitt and her crew avoid making the movie too mean-spirited by letting some vulnerability come through and giving each character moments where his or her foibles are treated with genuine sympathy. This is the main element that sets Confetti apart from the Christopher Guest movies. Isitt doesn't go for uncomfortable humor, she wants to create a romantic atmosphere so that when the weddings are actually happening, they'll stir up the proper emotions in her audience. To make the competition actually have tension for the viewer, each of the silly productions have to move us a little bit--and they do. All the couples really come together as couples, and even Archie and Gregory get their own little victory.

Sometimes you just want a movie to be a good time, and Confetti definitely succeeds on that front. The humor and the emotions are right on, and the editing keeps up a brisk pace so the concept never wears out its welcome. It's too bad this DVD wasn't put out in time for Valentine's Day, because it's a romantic movie absent of sap that both halves of any amorous couple will enjoy. Though, any wild wedding ideas your significant other may concoct as a result is entirely not my responsibility.

THE DVD

Video:
Confetti is shown in widescreen and looks pretty good. Sometimes the resolution looks a little low, but it usually appears to be a byproduct of how the movie was shot. I noticed some flickering in the scenes of Matt and Sam's rehearsal, and when they give their final performance, it almost looks like a filter has been placed over the lens, but again, not sure that this is actually a flaw in the disc.

Sound:
There are three 5.1 sound mixes to choose from on Confetti: English, French, and Spanish. The English option is a well-done, uncomplicated mix. There are also English and Spanish subtitles.

Extras:
All of the extras on the Confetti DVD are deleted scenes. Under the banner "Confetti Keeps Falling – More Tears and Tantrums" you will find twenty-five minutes of cut footage split into three sections based on how many weeks there are to go before the weddings--4, 2, or 1. You can watch them by section, or all at once.

There are also three alternate endings, one where each couple wins, including a version with the actual winners using different bits. In addition to being able to view them through the regular features menu, there is also an option on the main menu to watch them and actually have them inserted into the movie when you view it. Be warned, though, if you click on "Choose Your Own Winner" before you watch the film, the ending will be spoiled for you. While the story does lean towards one couple for most of the movie, it's still not a foregone conclusion, and the wording on the ending choices removes all doubt.

Three trailers for other Fox comedies are also included.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Confetti is a sweet romantic comedy with an excellent cast. Improvised in the style made famous by Christopher Guest and his troupe, it's a fun mockumentary about a contest between three couples to see who can stage the most original wedding. Full of real laughs and endearingly quirky and outrageous characters, Confetti is definitely Recommended.

Jamie S. Rich is a novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with Joelle Jones, including the hardboiled crime comic book You Have Killed Me, the challenging romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, and the 2007 prose novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, for which Jones did the cover. All three were published by Oni Press. His most recent projects include the futuristic romance A Boy and a Girl with Natalie Nourigat; Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, a loopy crime tale drawn by Dan Christensen; and the horror miniseries Madame Frankenstein, a collaboration with Megan Levens. Follow Rich's blog at Confessions123.com.

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