- Jason Watkins, Meredith MacNeill and Vincent Franklin in Confetti
A NEW British comedy that has three weddings in it doesn't sound too original and intimates a funeral for the British Film Industry. However, Confetti is a pleasant surprise.
It doesn't exactly wed comedy and social satire in bliss, but its excellent cast of top comedy talent and its good use of the "cringe comedy" style of TV hits such as The Office and I'm Alan Partridege distinguish it from previous Brit efforts.
The film - which centres on three couples' efforts to stage the most original wedding of the year and win a bridal-style magazine's prize of a luxury home - is far grittier and dirtier than Richard Curtis' output.
In fact, the films it most aspires to are the mockumentaries of US comedian Christopher Guest such as This Is Spinal Tap and Best In Show, though they manage little of their subtelty.
Director Debbie "Nasty Neighbours" Isitt's has decided to have her cast - including The Office's Martin Freeman and Green Wing's Stephen Mangan - improvise much of their lines and the result is a sharp but affectionate satire on the unreality of TV-type "reality".
The three couples - Freeman and Jessica Stevenson's musical lovers, Mangan and Meredith MacNeill's tennis freaks and Robert Webb and Olivia Colman's naturists - are rather broadly drawn but Mangan still amuses playing a similarly arrogant role to his Dr Secretan in Green Wing.
More memorable are the wedding planners Gregory and Archie (Jason Watkins and Vincent Franklin), who seem modelled on the artists Gilbert and George. They, like much of the film, are awash with stereotypes but raise real laughs every time they are on screen.
The weddings themselves, when they come around, are rather hampered in their effect by the film's modest budget which wouldn't stretch to one of Posh and Becks' thrones.
The improvised dialogue is rather hit and miss leaving the overall effect a bit messy. There are some great lines but also plenty of stuff that should have been cut to make the whole run smoother.
Still, the film is cheerful, down to earth and a very good night out. Still, it may make those planning a grand wedding of their own in the near future, to settle with the registery office and a cold buffet in your local pub.
3:50pm Thursday 4th May 2006