Michael Ian Black
Although a reasonably famous name in America, Michael Ian Black is virtually unheard of in Britain, because none of his many TV comedies has made it across the water. Wedding Daze, his first project as writer-director is unlikely to change this. A back of the shelf gross-com in the mode of the Road Trip or American Pie movies, its derivative, episodic and ultimately centred around a couple with no chemistry or comic timing.
Jason Biggs stars as Anderson; after killing his fiance with an unexpected proposal he decides to propose to the next girl he sees. That girl is Katie (Isla Fisher), a waitress, recently proposed to by her camp and cutesy orthodontist boyfriend. On a whim she agrees, and what follows is a relationship-in-a-bottle: they date, kiss, move in, fall out, and marry in the space of about a week.
It’s a nice concept and the film starts off wryly well-observed, with the couple finding themselves bickering and getting broody after only a few days. But with two characterless leads Wedding Daze was never going to sustain 90 minutes, so the script introduces more and more curveballs: an escaped convict father, a Jewish toy-maker, nymphomanic old people, soppy policemen – the list goes on. None are particularly successful: lacking the escalation of a film like Meet the Parents, it’s just one silly moment after another.
With a talented comic lead this might have been fun, but instead any more promising moments of wit are knocked on the head by Anderson’s witless reaction shots and “stop looking at me” smile. Presumably Jason Biggs is considered a comic actor because he’s no good at acting, famous as he is only for awkwardness and embarrassing costumes (in this film, a thong and angel wings, but most famously nothing but an apple pie). Isla Fisher fares better by virtue of being cute and scatty, but the highlight here is Joe Pantoliano as Katie’s growling snarling father.
Wedding Daze plays like a gross-out clip show, though by comparison with recent examples it’s all fairly tame. There’re bodily fluids (only snot), lesbians (in passing) and women’s underwear. Someone eats a diaphragm; there’s a pregnant lady who turns out to be just fat. There’s a black joke, a few gay jokes, some dirty talk and a uncomfortably large amount of anti-Semitism.
Somewhere underneath is a date-movie of the Megan Ryan ilk that wants to persuade us that love can arrive in the most unlikely ways, but this is mostly attempted by occassional moments of greetings card wisdom. When the eventual wedding finally comes about, it’s suitably oddball but not very romantic. Why anyone would fall in love with Jason Biggs is left a mystery.