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Fox Home Entertainment presents
"My name is Antoni Clarke, and I am a bride's best friend. I'm not gay."
DVD ReviewFilming a mockumentary from a reality television standpoint is a bold, brilliant move given today's TV ratings for the genre. Populating this unique type of film with a cast of British comedy's best is an even better strategy. 2006's little-seen Confetti is such a project, an often hilarious collection of "real" footage centering on a marriage contest like we've never seen before.
British bridal magazine Confetti has announced a contest to discover the most original wedding ceremony imaginable. The top prize is a brand new home for the winning couple, but there's much notoriety to be gained just by being a finalist, as each ceremony will be broadcast on national television. After an initial screening process, the final three couples are Matt (Martin Freeman) and Samantha (Jessica Stevenson), Isabelle (Meredith MacNeill) and Josef (Stephen Magnan), and Joanna (Olivia Colman) and Michael (Robert Webb).
With the help of wedding coordinators and longtime couple Archie (Vincent Franklin) and Gregory (Jason Watkins), the contestants set out to incorporate their favorite things into the wedding ceremony. Matt and Samantha model theirs after old movie musicals, but must overcome her annoying mother (Alison Steadman) and sister (Sarah Hadland), a dancer with a large sense of entitlement. Isabelle and Josef are tennis enthusiasts, but he is eternally jealous of her coach, and Joanna and Michael have a lifestyle that might not be appropriate for national television: they're nudists. Still, it's up to Archie and Gregory to ensure this all comes together, which could happen at the expense of their relationship.
Taking a page out of Christopher Guest's mockumentary playbook, director Debbie Isitt strikes comedic gold here. She doesn't waste any time with worthless exposition either, as we're instantly off and running with a look at the unbelievable contestants that didn't make the final cut. They could have made a TV series out of some of the unworthy people we get a glimpse of, but those that Isitt focuses her film on are a priceless lot. While it never quite reaches the hilarious heights of Guest's best, this project is just as ambitious, and, most importantly, funny. Using only the bare bones of a script, Isitt simply gave her actors a general idea of what she wanted and turned them loose.
An ensemble cast doesn't get much better than this, with familiar faces like The Office's Freeman, Spaced's Stevenson, and The Worst Week of My Life's Steadman. Each pairing, including the wedding planners, oozes with chemistry, allowing us to emotionally invest in them in-between laughter. We're sympathetic towards each of the finalists, but to varying degrees. It's just as easy to despise Isabelle and Josef as it is to adore Matt and Samantha, with Joanna and Michael serving as an indirect, albeit naked, buffer. Of course, none of this would be possible without having a group of actors invest this much into a single film. When such a rarity does happen, it's a sight to behold. In this case, it's a damn funny experience as well.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A
Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation looks fairly good, considering it was shot on hand-held cameras. This extremely realistic look also results in quite a bit of grain, but, again, given the nature of the style, this is forgivable. Aside from the inherent issues, there aren't any other flaws that could have been avoided.
Image Transfer Grade: C+
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is straightforward, with nearly everything coming from the front. A bit of the music travels to the rear speakers, but this is far from a dynamic mix.
Audio Transfer Grade: C+
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Fox TV Comedies on DVD, Thank You For Smoking, Fast Food Nation
3 Alternate Endings
Packaging: Keep Case
There's also a trio of alternate endings that can be viewed either separately or with the film as part of the "Choose Your Own Winners" feature. Each alternate ending does, indeed, show us what would happen if each of the couples had won the contest.
Finishing things up is a trio of trailers for other Fox DVD releases.
Extras Grade: B
Final CommentsFears of a cheap, Christopher Guest mockumentary knock-off subsided five minutes into Confetti. This hidden gem is a brilliant, laugh-a-minute farce with a huge heart that also keeps us guessing until the contest winner is finally announced. Fox's DVD is a great effort as well, featuring solid audio and video and some great extras, highlighted by a look at alternate outcomes of the contest.
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