“Love Wedding Repeat” is the latest Netflix rom-com to hit our streaming world. In the time of quarantine, a light, romantic comedy seems exactly the type of content we need to distract ourselves from the unknown certainty we find ourselves in.
Cue the rom-com formula with a twist. “Love Wedding Repeat” explores the power of chance with alternate versions of the same wedding. Jack (Sam Claflin) tries to make sure his little sister Hayley (Eleanor Tomlinson) has the perfect wedding day. But shenanigans ensue. He has to deal with his crazy ex-girlfriend Amanda (Freida Pinto), as well as an uninvited guest with a secret and a misplaced sleep sedative. And throw in the quintessential rom-com plot of unexpectedly reuniting with Dina (Olivia Munn), the girl of his dreams, who might have been the one who got away, for some extra high stakes.
In the last few years Netflix has brought on a rom-com renaissance with movies like “Set it Up,” “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Falling Inn Love.” I’d be lying if I said one part of me didn’t enjoy watching all of these offerings. I’d also be lying if I said the other part isn’t a little weary of the rom-coms that are being outputted. I’m all for formulaic. Heck, formulas work. But when the formula includes variables we’ve all seen before, I get a little bummed out at the opportunity that was missed to do something new.
Does “Love Wedding Repeat” do something new for the rom-com genre? Yes and no. The “Groundhog Day” scenario of getting to repeat and hopefully have a better outcome is interesting and a tool that I like seeing in movies when done well. It seems like the perfect story device to utilize in a wedding day scenario, given all the possible things that can go awry.
However, I don’t think director and writer Dean Craig utilized the plot device to its fullest. I craved more repeats than what was presented. It would have been fun to see three or four scenarios play out, not just a montage of them. The montage of different seating arrangements is a highlight, which is why it was a bummer not to see some more of these play out. If the title says repeat, I want repeat!
But what lacked in repeat was made up for in an eclectic cast of supporting characters. I enjoyed watching Jack Farthing as Marc, Allen Mustafa as Chaz (we got to have a Chaz!) and Aisling Bea as Rebecca. And it was an extra treat to see “Game of Thrones” alum Joe Fry as Bryan, Hayley’s maid of honor.
The wedding takes place in Italy, and it was nice to get a different ambience and views than we normally get to see in rom-coms. The color palette of the film is bright, colorful and beautiful, including the costume design. The wedding scenario made for some fun fashion moments. That bright green floral dress that Dina dons was breathtaking. And the red dress that Amanda wears was stunning on Pinto!
Watching Claflin as the awkward, not-so-confident Jack was one of my favorite parts of the film. Munn and he were a great match, but were underutilized. It was fun to see them together, but I keep wondering what could have been.
The biggest mishap of “Love Wedding Repeat” is the lack of emotional depth. I don’t need much from a rom-com to get sold on a love story, but I do need something more than a two-minute introduction that explains why Jack thinks Dina is the one who got away. The film leaned more into the scenario and laughs — which, on the one hand, was entertaining due to the UK humor, but I wanted a little more to feel something for these characters.
You’ll have fun watching the movie, but the staying power isn’t there for a repeat viewing. This has been my major issue with Netflix rom-com offerings: There’s more fluff than the iconic rom-coms of yesteryear.
But if you want something that will make you laugh, I do recommend pressing play on “Love Wedding Repeat.”
Catherine grew up watching action flicks at a very young age which led to her love of film. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors in Radio-TV-Film in 2012. Always the adventurer, Catherine traveled and lived in Sydney, Australia for a year where she took a selfie with Brad Pitt. She runs Shuffle with passion, lots of caffeine and tacos. When she’s not editing or writing you can find her crafting and planning her next adventure.