09th Oct2018

‘Destination Wedding’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Dj Dallenbach, Ted Dubost, Greg Lucey, D. Rosh Wright, Donna Lynn Jones, Curt Dubost, Michael Mogull | Written and Directed by Victor Levin

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Destination Wedding reunites Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, as the socially awkward Frank and Lindsay. When they meet on their way to a destination wedding, they soon discover they have a lot in common: they both hate the bride, the groom, the wedding, themselves, and most especially each other. As the weekend’s events continually force them together – and their cheerlessness immediately isolates them from the other guests – Frank and Lindsay find that if you verbally spar with someone long enough, anything can happen. When debate gives way to desire, they must decide which is stronger: their hearts or their common sense.

90′s sweethearts and icons of cinematic pop culture Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder team up for the first time since Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 cult classic horror Bram Stroker’s Dracula. Both performers were at their peak with numerous critically and financially acclaimed features. Most notably Reeves with The Matrix and Ryder starring and producing the Oscar-winning Girl, Interrupted. The next decade was slightly dry in terms of success both commercially or critically. However, a renaissance of sorts began to build with Reeves building a new franchise in 2014 with John Wick and Ryder re-establishing herself as a cult icon in Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Writer/director Victor Levin’s Destination Wedding returns both actors to a fabulous dramatic form. A moving, stoic comedy with a truly dark and sarcastic edge. Keeves playing Frank, in particular, plays somewhat against his action heroic type and while his impassive, now iconic, articulation is on point. He doesn’t wrestle with the material or struggle with his performance and revels in the absurd and ridiculous. As does the wonderful and whimsy role of optimistic and burned out Lindsay, played by Ryder, who perfectly combats Frank’s (Reeves) percieved nihilistic and pessimistic evaluation of people and earth. The constant belittling and battle between each character offer a charthatic release of build up emotion and condescending self-sabotage. It is indeed rather glib and the slow pacing somewhat slows the picture down to a complete halt, although, it does allow the morbid bleak comedy to boil and simmer with its audience.

The delivery for both is razor sharp and offbeat humourous attitude evokes a grand scale of highbrow comedy. A neat and often sparse corner of comedy that either fails to find an audience or financing with little to no box office success. Yet, in the age of the lowbrow gross-out comedy Destination Wedding is a victory, success a welcome addition for the more interesting and compelling comedy audiences.

Despite hitting US cinemas in August, Destination Wedding is still without a UK release date as yet.

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