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Make your RSVP to 'Breakup at a Wedding' a 'no'

The mockumentary "Breakup at a Wedding" pretends to be the real footage of a disastrous ceremony, but only offers lame, strained jokes.

The stars of "Breakup at a Wedding" respond in mock-shock to some farcical development. Credit: Oscilloscope The stars of "Breakup at a Wedding" respond in mock-shock to some farcical development.
Credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories

‘Breakup at a Wedding
Director: Victor Quinaz
Stars: Philip Quinaz, Alison Fyhrie
Rating: PG-13
2 (out of 5) Globes

The mockumentary is to comedy what the found footage film is to horror: a gimmicky narrative crutch that often masks a thin script. And no matter how much the actors sweat — for the sake of humor or horror — audiences are often the ones cringing in discomfort. Such a response awaits viewers of "Breakup at a Wedding," a largely unfunny mockumentary co-produced by Zachary Quinto.

In the film, a videographer (played by director/co-writer Victor Quinaz) is given complete and total access to the events leading up to and after the wedding of Phil (Philip Quinaz, Victor’s brother, who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Alison (Aleixon Fyhrie). The comedy stems from the videographer recording “raw” scenes that reveal uncomfortable secrets about the bride and groom, as well as their friends and families.

As the characters are introduced, there are some mildly amusing lines. The bride insists on “red lit meat” and the groom appreciates his fiance for having “good posture.” However, most of "Breakup at a Wedding" focuses on the catastrophic moments, which include fireballs at the rehearsal dinner, an awkward incident at the ceremony and one of the wedding guests running naked (his naughty bits pixilated) through the hotel reception. But these wacky scenes are more strained than funny.

Moreover, the film’s conceit that the bride and groom are going to “fake” their wedding — thereby rendering their ceremony invalid — is flimsy. It makes "Breakup at a Wedding" taste like flat, day-old grape soda, not sparkling champagne. Even a subplot about Phil struggling to pay for a surprise dream house to woo Alison seems lame.

The problem here is not with the central couple; they actually exhibit a genuine bond when they conspire to steal liquor to keep their guests from having to pay for a cash bar, or have a candid discussion during their first dance. The trouble with this “Wedding” is that the supporting characters, which are integral to the comic episodes involving cops, an ambulance, a blackmail scheme and other shenanigans, are largely underdeveloped. It is hard to care about the miscellaneous bridesmaids and family members as futile mini-dramas unfold regarding Phil’s last minute change-up with his best man, or Alison’s dumb decision to have her brother’s Eastern European mail-order bride do her makeup.

Ultimately, "Breakup at a Wedding" is an enervating experience. Quinaz asks viewers to pay to attend a ceremony and a reception for people that they would never want to know. Run away from this bride and groom.

 
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