A review of “Confetti” by Jeanne Aufmuth


Stars: ***

Rating: R for language and full frontal nudity

Run Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes



British helmer Debbie Isitt channels Christopher Guest for her gauzy mockumentary that pokes fun at the fickle institution of marriage, or at least the art of getting there.

Why spend thousands of dollars to get hitched when you can get it gratis? Three lucky couples are chosen from hundreds of applicants to duke it out for Confetti magazine’s Most Original Wedding of the Year contest -- let the games begin.

Theme weddings are de rigueur and they’re doozies. Childhood sweethearts Matt (Martin Freeman) and Sam (Jessica Stevenson) envision their dream wedding as a Hollywood musical, Busby Berkeley style. For tennis buffs Josef (Stephen Mangan) and Isabelle (Meredith MacNeill) the fantasy is a full-court nuptial reminiscent of the stately green of Wimbledon.

Not to be outdone in the novelty department are free spirits Michael and Joanna (Robert Webb and Olivia Colman), happy-go-lucky nudists who insist on a ceremony au naturel no matter what the beleaguered sponsors say.

It’s a three-ring circus of throttled emotion. A pair of stressed-out wedding planners add to the gaiety and desire for the big brass ring -- a brand-new house worth half a million pounds -- layers on the pressure.

 There are speedbumps galore; Matt and Sam can’t dance or sing, Josef is uncontrollably jealous over the couple’s rico suave tennis instructor and Joanna’s getting cold feet over being clad in nothing but fig leaves.

 Taking a page from Guest’s trademark spontaneity the lovebirds wing it with witty aplomb, opening the door on closetfuls of skeletons and testing their love to within an inch of its worth.

And it’s funny – not side-splitting but campily and comfortably fraught with dry English humor. Improvisational performances result in both big laughs and comic potential that doesn’t always yield results.

Light and fun.