Director: Debbie Isitt
Stars: Selina Cadell, Jimmy Carr
** (out of five)
For her improvised comedy Confetti, director Debbie Isitt recruited a group of talented British comic actors to play three couples competing in a bridal magazine’s challenge: Whoever produces the most original wedding wins a spot on the magazine’s cover ... oh, and a house.
The result, as one might expect, is a frenzy of egotism and panic, as the couples — The Office’s Martin Freeman and Spaced’s Jessica Stevenson as a pair who love Hollywood musicals, Stephen Mangan and Meredith MacNeill as hyper-competitive yuppies obsessed with tennis, and Robert Webb and Olivia Colman as nudists who seem intent on waving their, um, lifestyle in everyone else’s face — endure three months of prep and training with wedding planners, choreographers and the occasional plastic surgeon.
Confetti wants very much to be a wacky celebration of the things we do for love, told in the freewheeling, on-the-fly mode perfected by Christopher Guest. But while Guest’s comedies appear light and effortless, Isitt’s execution is stiff and forced; most of the characters exist solely in a single dimension: The tennis yuppies are selfish! The nudist is obnoxious! The wedding planners (Jason Watkins and Vincent Franklin) are really, really gay!
It’s equally evident, from the slack pacing and the repetitive nature of several scenes, that the cast wasn’t just improvising their dialogue, but also their motivation and direction; Isitt wallpapers the soundtrack with romantic standards — the last refuge of the desperate.