Second Hand Wedding
- Cast:Geraldine Brophy, Paul Murphy, Holly Shanahan
- Release Date:July 29, 2010
- Running time:94 minutes
- Film Worth:$10.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
While the premise is silly and the drama often predictable, this succeeds as a feel-good piece of entertainment.
This New Zealand film comes on like a pilot for a sitcom - one that you know will never be picked up. The broadly drawn supporting characters are pure television, and the premise is a bit silly - a daughter fears that her nuptials will be turned into a bargain basement nightmare by her thrifty mother - but it's apparently based on a true story, and it all comes together nicely in the end.
The mum in question is Jill Rose, wonderfully played by the warmly funny Geraldine Brophy (who has appeared in Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans and King Kong, but is best known to Kiwis for the soap Shortland Street). Jill's a deputy principal - she's not hard up, but she's got a thing about garage sales nonetheless, and it's in garage-land that the funniest stuff happens. The sales are dotted around New Zealand's delectable Kapiti Coast, but in his first feature film, director Paul Murphy doesn't capitalise on the natural, camera-friendly beauty.
Second Hand Wedding is a dramedy, and while Murphy gets the comedy part of the equation right, he sleepwalks through predictable drama. The film is initially quirkily amusing, but ultimately loses its way when it arrives at the mother-daughter conflict.
Brophy usually lifts things when they start to sag, however, and although not quite her match, the other central players are good, with Patrick Wilson fine as Jill's retired husband, and the equally impressive Holly Shanahan and Ryan O'Kane as her daughter and impending son-in-law, respectively. The supports vary, with Vivien Bell's widow Gracie, a colleague and "enemy" of Jill's, modelled without irony on the archetypal forties screen spinster. Yet Tina Regtien delivers a spot-on performance as Jill's bargain buddy, Muffy, and vintage singer John Rowles' cameo is perfect.
Second Hand Wedding is not brilliant, but its enjoyable moments outweigh its drowsier segments. It takes you to the feel-good place that it was shooting for.