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Something New 

Light British mock-doc Confetti offers laughs, cockle-warming, and smacky dude-balls (something blue?)

When Confetti, Britain’s leading (and fictional) glamour-wedding magazine offers a £500,000 house to whomever can come up with the year’s most original fantasy wedding, three teams are selected from a pool of lousy
Dir. and writ. Debbie Isitt; feat. Martin Freeman, Jessica Stevenson, Steven Mangau, Meredith MacNeill, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Jimmy Carr (R)
applicants to compete against one another for the prize on what may or may not be a reality show. It’s hard to tell, since, while Confetti — the movie, not the magazine — is filmed in the Christopher Guest mockumentary style (featuring structured improvisational chaos), we’re never quite sure just why it is we’re following these six hapless Brits around. Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter, since the fun is never interrupted and the charm of the film, which runs a sleek 94 minutes, supersedes whatever shortcomings threaten to weigh it down.

Much of that charm comes in the form of Matt and Sam, who, with their “Hollywood Musical” theme, seem the odds-on favorite to win the competition. As Matt, Martin Freeman — best known as the poor sod who pined away for Dawn for two seasons on the original version of The Office — brings his awkward-everyman persona and passive acting style; he’s very adept at emoting without saying or really even doing much at all. The devotion he and his fiancée show each other could be called the heart of the film, because, well, it is.

The other two teams’ relationships suffer terribly from the competition. This is especially true with Josef and Isabelle, hyper-competitive tennis players who have chosen their preferred sport as their wedding theme. It’s really no surprise that they have so much trouble actually executing such a bizarre motif, but, hey, the competition plays to their personalities. It’s in trying to defeat Matt and Sam and the third team, Michael and Joanna, that their attachment to one another begins to make a sad kind of sense. It’s also in trying to do this that they almost kill each other — and a sappy tennis instructor who gets caught in the middle.

On the other hand, Michael and Joanna care little for the competition, it seems, but, as naturists (no, not nudists — well, yeah, nudists) they just want to be able to get hitched while dressed in nothing but what the Good Lord gave them. Of course, they can’t actually get married au naturel. This is devastating news, especially to Michael, who spends most of the film running around with his testicles smacking against his thighs. Ser-iously, the guy who plays him, Robert Webb, has some huge balls. And not just for agreeing to spend a movie naked.

Anyways, it all comes to a head under one roof, where the weddings compete against each other on three different stages and the couples’ true feelings for one another are revealed as … as … sigh, as even more naked dudes hang around onscreen. I mean, come on. Have you seen the Burt Reynolds Playgirl spread? This is scarier than that. Nevertheless, the film is good for some heartwarming chuckles. It’s not this decade’s Four Weddings and a Funeral, but it’s certainly a change of pace compared to the run-of-the-mill comedies we usually get stateside.

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January 13, 2020

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