Great Comedy Mysteries of the 21st Century #17: The Wedding Party

So back in 2010 the opening night film at the Melbourne International Film Festival was Australian big-screen comedy The Wedding Party, in which Josh Lawson agrees to a fake marriage with Isabel Lucas even though he’s deeply in love with Kestie Morassi. Wait, we mean those actors play characters who’re doing all that, the actors themselves are just doing acting stuff. Anyway, for a slightly more coherent take on what’s going on in the film why not try here.

You’re back? Good. More eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the “coming soon”  Empire story we just sent you to is dated July 19th, 2012. Wait, you mean the film that played opening night film at the Melbourne International Film Festival two years ago still hasn’t been released? Surely that Empire story is announcing that this rare example of Australian movie comedy is due out any day now then… oh, it’s st to be released sometime “later this year”. Hmm.

A clue as to why it’s taken so long to be released could be that it doesn’t seem to be very good: reviews at the time ranged from not very positive to heavily mixed to “a bit odd” (which contains the line “a dynamic debut filmmaking team has been born” – uh, not yet they haven’t). None of which is exactly encouraging when it comes to big-screen comedy in this country, though reviewers have been known to be wrong and a lot of editing can happen in two years.

So at this point we’d usually blame its’ extended stint on the shelf on Australia’s well-documented hatred of seeing Australians trying to be funny on film. For every even slightly successful big screen comedy there’s a dozen that bombed spectacularly or vanished without trace. But earlier this year the equally wedding themed A Few Best Men actually did pretty well at the box office. That’s got to be a positive sign, even if everyone who saw A Few Best Men did so because they desperately needed to see Rebel Wilson in a wedding-themed comedy post-Bridesmaids and they couldn’t wait until Bachelorette comes out. So what’s the hold-up?

We don’t know. That’s why this one’s filed under “comedy mysteries”. It looks tolerable – let’s not forget, Big Mamma’s Boy was filmed and released between The Wedding Party‘s first appearance and today so the bar isn’t set all that high – and it’s got enough of a name cast by local standards to draw at least a few passers-by into the cinema. Is there something going on here we’re missing? Did a cast member commit a horrible crime that passed us by and they’re waiting until the media firestorm dies down? Is Josh Lawson box office poison after Any Questions For Ben? Is Adam Zwar box office poison after Agony Uncles? Is Bill Hunter box office poison after dying in 2011? Answers on the back of a postcard please…

 

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