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Total Crap80%

1 review, 4 user ratings

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Wedding Daze (Pleasure of Your Company, The)
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by brianorndorf

"Michael Ian Black is no director"
1 stars

Even with an extensive history in the field of improvisational comedy (“The State,” “Stella”), Michael Ian Black is perhaps best known for his time on the VH1 circuit, providing hip, ironic commentary on the toys of yesteryear or the more embarrassing pop culture speed bumps of the 80s and 90s. It suits Black’s wily sense of humor well, unlike his feature directing debut, “Wedding Daze,” a rancid lump of tedium that makes a great case for keeping Black in front of the camera for the rest of his career.

Anderson (Jason Biggs) is in mourning for the girlfriend he lost on the night of his wedding proposal. Forlorn, he’s goosed by a close friend to jump back into life, which Anderson translates into another proposal: to a waitress, Katie (Isla Fisher), whom he’s never even met before. When Katie accepts the swift matrimonial invitation, Anderson is stunned, and the two begin their life together dealing with insecurities, imprisoned and sexually deviant in-laws, and their hopes for a future as they get to know more about each other.

“Daze” is a tired sitcom, written and directed by Black in the most unimaginative fashion. It’s a dreary picture glued together by the hackiest set of jokes, portioned out by Black as though he’s stuck gold with his Farrellyesque screenplay. On many levels, this movie is an unfathomable mess, but all the roads lead back to Black and his insatiable desire to create something silly even basic cable would hesitate to air.

“Daze” isn’t executed with the least bit of inspiration, but that’s only scratching the surface. Casting Jason Biggs in the lead role leads to the first round of headaches; the pie-humper spending his umpteenth motion picture parading around his bad Woody Allen impression. Biggs isn’t amusing, but he certainly thinks he is, which makes several sequences in the film impossible to watch without pointing a loaded gun to your temple. Black encourages the stammering and the eye fluttering at every turn, making Isla Fisher’s performance suffer in comparison: she has to hold the same frame as Biggs and his one-note displays of irritation and somehow convey affection. What an impossible task.

The whole enterprise is an elongated sleeping pill and the jokes themselves can be telegraphed a mile away. Trust me, when one of the characters drops his sandwich on the same floor as a diaphragm, you’ll know exactly what that next bite is going to contain. Black takes a curious pride in the hoariness of the material, jumping to gross-out bits and tiresome non sequitur humor (Judaism is a common punchline) to keep the audience alert.

“Daze” wouldn’t be so painful had it been left to ripen as a farce. Instead, the film eventually wants the audience to feel for the plight of Anderson and Katie, and their budding sense of connection. Black’s only method to communicate this is by stopping his own movie cold to shovel in batches of infuriating melodrama, effectively smothering any pace that’s fighting for air. It’s amazingly formulaic writing, and no effort by Black to subvert the clichés with little snaps of irreverence can disguise his apathy toward, or perhaps total ignorance of, storytelling.

Michael Ian Black is a disarmingly funny fellow, honing his skills in the ranks of wonderful comedy troupes and projects. However, “Wedding Daze” is an old fashioned kind of bad; a film of depressing production quality, yet a creation of utter inconsequence. Essentially it’s harmless fluff, but damn is it a chore to sit through.

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originally posted: 01/12/08 10:15:00
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2006 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/23/16 Anne Pleasantly surprised! Just to view as a farce and to let it unfold. 4 stars
8/11/10 art IT STINK"S!!!! 1 stars
3/18/08 Zoe Saw it in Ireland and loved it. 5 stars
1/21/08 Jayson Deserves to go straight to video. 1 stars
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  N/A (R)
  DVD: 15-Jan-2008



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