Saturday 17 March 2012


Could this Kelly McDonald/David Tennant starring screwball comedy be the end of CinemaNX's astoundingly impressive run of good films? I guess there's only one way to find out.

Hounded by the paparazzi as she approaches her wedding day, Hollywood actress Lara (Alice Eve) decides to have a small, intimate occasion on the remote Scottish island of Hegg, basing the event on the successful novel her fiance James (David Tennant) once wrote about the island, despite him never actually going there. However, when the press track her down again and she flees, her agent decides to go ahead with the wedding to fool the crowds, enlisting local girl Katie (Kelly McDonald) as her stand-in.

David Tennant, charming. Alice Eve, lovely. Kelly McDonald, super lovely. How could this film possibly fail? Based around a quite brilliant (for a rom-com) set-up and an accidental marriage meet-cute that's so obvious it's a surprise it's not been done before, despite its many flaws there's still something quite charming about The Decoy Bride. It's by no means a great film, but there's something so Doris Day and Rock Hudson about its screwball simplicity that it's a tough film to be mean to.

Well, almost. Even if you've only seen one other film in your lifetime, you'll immediately see every plot contrivance coming from a mile away. Katie is a struggling writer... I can see where this is going. The Paparazzo has an unrequited love for Lara... I can see where this is going. James and Katie have a frosty relationship at first... I CAN SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING. The cinematic writing debut of Smack The Pony's Sally Phillips (who also has a role as an American agent with an appalling accent), she's clearly taken more than a few leaves from the big book of romantic comedy cliches, not to mention her appearance in both Bridget Jones films.

Thank heavens then for the cast who are immensely watchable (but why the West Lothian born Tennant never plays a Scotsman, i'll never know) and make the experience more bearable than you may be expecting. If you can gloss over the stereotypical portrayal of remote islanders and forgive its wide array of dodgy accents, there's moments of sweetness that do ring true. Also, Michael Urie's acerbic agent (basically a reprisal of his Ugly Betty role) deserves a mention too; his reaction to Kelly McDonald's underwhelming bride makeover is priceless.

Relying heavily on the charm of its two leads, The Decoy Bride has possibly the most ridiculously formulaic and obvious plot since time began, but it's almost brilliant in its own little way. I hasten to repeat, in its own little way. More throwaway than confetti, I still wouldn't be surprised to see it getting its own Death At A Funeral-style American remake.


Special Features: Trailer

No comments:

Post a Comment