views from the gods

saints and sinners of the stage and screen

The Knot (15)
Cineworld, Haymarket
2nd September 2012


What is it with wedding films at the minute? On the one hand, we have the successful US contingent with The Hangover, The Hangover Part 2 and Bridesmaids, then we have the UK's offerings. And since Four Weddings and a Funeral, it's safe to say they've consistently stunk.

Despite its strong cast, Debbie Isitt's Confetti was terrible, with even star Robert Webb calling it an "underwhelming mess". It still didn't stop him from doing this year's equally awful The Wedding Video though. Finally, we have panned Hangover knock-off A Few Best Men.

So that's it. That's a round-up of all the wedding-based movies that came out recently. Job done. Now we can move on the brilliant films due out this Oscar season. What? Awww... I was trying to forget that one...

Fine, so I apparently HAVE to talk about The Knot, hopefully the last film about marriage audiences will have to suffer in a long time. Written by and starring Noel Clarke and Davie Fairbanks (along with a third, Geoff Carino), the Jesse Lawrence-directed movie is a juvenile little affair with, for the most part, charmless characters going through the motions in drearily predictable, leaden situations.

It follows the larks of groom Jeremy (Happy Shopper Danny Dyer rip-off Matthew McNulty) as he and his laddish entourage try to get to the church on time. On the flipside, we also follow bride Alexandra (Talulah Riley) and her bridesmaids trying to do the same.

Unsurprisingly, things start to go wrong, with "hilarious" consequences. After a series of blokey pranks that would make anyone else think twice about having 'mates' like this, the boys are left high and dry when a car doesn't turn up, a jacket is ripped, some testicles are delivered to the house and the threat of Jeremy's odd ex-girlfriend loom large over proceedings.

For the girls, one particularly odious character, Anisha (Rhoda Montemayor) goes missing and we are genuinely angry that she ever bothers to turn up again. Oh, and the bride needs to do a poo in her wedding dress, and another sits on a glass. Because bottoms and their functions are the height of hilarity. Seriously, the humour levels make me think the last 35 years didn't happen to the cast or crew. This is Carry On Up The Aisle for the iPad generation.

I did laugh once, at a well-worn 'joke' about the Catholic Church. Not the line itself, more Clarke's face, contorted in disbelief that such a naive comment could be made. Although I secretly believe it was disgust at himself for writing such a hack quip in the first place. Another redeeming feature is the ever-watchable Steve Furst as over-the-top, campy hair stylist Voller. It's a real shame that people know him best as 'That bloke from the Orange adverts', but it's inevitable if he keeps hitching his wagon to these asthmatic donkey projects.

The film itself is a double shame, because on the whole, Noel Clarke is an affable bloke and a rather welcome presence in whatever he does. Especially if that's Doctor Who or Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. He proved with Kidulthood that he's a formidable drama writer, but his eye for comedy is sorely lacking.

This will undoubtedly find its audience of drunk teenage boys looking for something to do on a Friday night after they've finished looking at the pictures in Nuts magazine. But - if the walk-outs and ill-feeling after my tellingly embargoed preview of the film was anything to go by - anyone else would rather put the knot around their necks and jump off something high.

The Knot was released in the UK on 5th October 2012.

Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly, Bakerloo)

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