Love, Weddings & Other Disasters (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
IMAGINE for one moment a film that accurately represents the hatred most middle-aged men hold against 2003's Love Actually. Now stop imagining because, much to my disappoint, that film is a reality.
Love, Weddings and Other Disasters follows a string of different couples, all with their own unique quirks and problems, as they discover more about one another and themselves until one conveniently-timed wedding brings them together for an anticlimactic climax.
At the beginning of Other Disasters, the main protagonist is set up to be Jessie (Maggie Grace), a wedding planner who figuratively, and literally, butts heads with professional planner Lawrence Phillips (Jeremy Irons).
Jessie herself was a decent choice for a main protagonist: witty, imperfect, relatable and having recently come off a long-term relationship which ended disastrous. But for some reason the film decides to complicate matters by disregarding her love for the first two acts, breaking any assemblance of a character she once had.
And down to its core, Other Disasters stems down to one major flaw: unbalanced writing. If you're going to establish upwards of six relationships by the film's conclusion, make sure to flush out each character's personality and motivation so the audience can digest such a large amount of information. Failing to do so results in a film void of emotion and humour such as this.
Because I don't want to end a review on such a sour note, there were actually some positives to be found in Dennis Dugan's dumpster fire of a film.
Two relationships managed to produce some form of vastly different entertainment, with Jeremy Irons and Diane Keaton's story of a blind woman finding love at first touch being remarkably sweet, and Russian dancer Olga (Melinda Hill) and Jimmy Barton's (Andy Goldenberg) forcibly mismatched relationship providing genuine chuckles in a film completely void of full-on laughs.
When I saw this romantic "comedy" on Valentine's Day with two girlfriends who turned to me and said, "This has to be one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time", it was pretty hard to disagree. But in the end, Love, Weddings and Other Disasters held up its end of the bargain - it was a complete disaster.