April Fools Day! What if professional criticism reviews an average wedding day home video? But perhaps this is still fun to read, even after April 1, 2009... First you have to admire the director´s courage to work with an entirely amateur cast, including child actors and animals, and even more, to refuse to use any informative text inserts; thus almost everybody involved remains anonymous. The cast seems to stand for archetypes the average movie conoisseur could easily relate to, such as "the hysteric aunt", "the moron cousin" or "the drunk teenage gang". Therefore gender-roles are strictly defined, all women wear predominantly white dresses (some a bit "over-the-top", though), all men black suits. Definitely no commercial cinema/blockbuster material, just considering those 2,5 hours overlength, those occasional "silent" scenes (perhaps a reminiscence of early cinematography), the strict cinema verité / dogma style, very often using handheld camera to take you right in the center of the action.
Apropos action, there is not much of it. On an overall scale, director Webb-Diaz relies on static long takes to capture seemingly random scenes. Dialoges are few and seem improvised, very often child and animal actors contribute to "comic relief", e.g. that little boy puking on the "fat female fashion desaster´s" shoes. Although a certain dramatic tension is built up to the scene, where the two protagonists - a male and a female - are questioned by an authority figure to make "the decision of their lives", and although it seems unlikely that the answer will be anything else but "Yes", Webb-Diaz clings stubbornly on wide angle shot on the whole scene, omitting close-ups or cross-cut to the excited audience and renounces a chance to intensify the moment. On purpose?
Indecisive is also the "carpe diem" sequence: the camera pans from the happy crowd in front of the church door to the grave yard, then completely loses control, you hear a groan and a bump, followed by a 10 sec blackout - a deliberate moment of contemplation? Yet the director withholds any explanation, and directly leads us to a staccato of orgiastic scenes.
Here she seems to lose it completely, just observing misbehaving people who are dancing, eating or drinking too much, without commentary or critical distance. The soundtrack is another weak point - when in the first part Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy´s well-known Summer Night Dream is sort of over-used, the epilogue consists of a seemingly random variety, from folk tunes to contemporary pop-songs in an overwhelming crescendo. This 35 min "epilogue" is definitely way too long and would require firm editing.
Therefore, although I find the concept interesting and I have to give credit that a typical tear-dripping "Hollywood-ending" was avoided, because of the weak script and long-winded direction, it´s only