Happy Ever Afters

"Weak"

Happy Ever Afters Review


Bright and comical, but never actually funny, this Irish rom-com features a very strong cast that almost makes up for the extremely thin but busy script and direction. But without a sense of focus, it feels like it will never end.

On the same day that Maura (Hawkins) is marrying Wilson (Bakare) so he can get his visa, Freddie (Riley) is remarrying his ex-wife Sophie (Yourell). And both are holding their receptions at the same seaside hotel, where things quickly start getting complicated. As Maura's 9-year-old daughter Molly (Maquire) begins to understand that this isn't a real marriage, the hyper-jealous Sophie randomly starts to think that Freddie and Maura are having an affair. And things get worse when a couple of immigration cops (McElhatton and Pearse) start snooping around.

Writer-director Burke opens the film with playfully entwined editing that completely misleads us until he starts unravelling the knots to show us these two distinct wedding parties, each with its own issues and stresses. Of course, the fact that the reception venue is double-booked causes plenty of panic, which is quickly resolved so the plot can start churning through its slapstick comedy, strained emotion and even some rather dark drama. The problem is that, even though it's energetic and silly, it's also extremely predictable.

And the characters only barely rise above stereotypes. Hawkins is a blast of fresh air at the centre, whirling through each scene with a realistic sense of Maura's desperation as well as an openness to what life throws at her. Her scenes with Maguire are the film's most authentic moments. Meanwhile, Riley is enjoyable flustered as the oddly pudgy-nervous Freddie. Virtually everyone else is a comedy stereotype.

But as their mixed-up situation gets increasingly messy, the film only gets more predictable. It also feels badly stretched out through side-plots including Sophie's madcap escape and an eerily bleak suicide attempt. And the build-up to the rather ludicrous climax feels both belaboured and simplistic.

Even so, it's possible to sit back and enjoy the chaos of these two disastrous weddings, even if it all ends in a bizarrely blunt anti-marriage message.



Happy Ever Afters

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th December 2009

Distributed by: Newgrange Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Stephen Burke

Producer: Lesley McKimm, Alex Ward

Starring: as Maura


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement