Every week, new original films debut on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, often to much less fanfare than their big-screen counterparts. Cinemastream is Vox’s series highlighting the most notable of these premieres, in an ongoing effort to keep interesting and easily accessible new films on your radar.
Love Wedding Repeat
The premise: Sometimes, whether things go well or disastrously in romance — or at a wedding — is the result of sheer, uncontrollable luck.
What it’s about: Love Wedding Repeat is derivative in myriad ways: It’s based on a 2012 French rom-com called Plan de table. It has the cadence, mishaps, meet-cutes, and quirky characters of dozens of rom-coms before it. And I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure the title itself is a send-up of the 2014 sci-fi flick Edge of Tomorrow’s alternate title, Live Die Repeat.
But honestly? Who cares? Love Wedding Repeat is exactly what a straight-to-Netflix rom-com should be, tailor-made to be watched while snuggled into the couch with a glass of wine and a pan of fudgy brownies. It is charming comfort food at its absolute finest.
Directed and written by Dean Craig, who wrote both the British (2007) and American (2010) versions of Death at a Funeral, the film is mostly the tale of a hapless and amiable fellow named Jack (played by Sam Claflin, appearing, for once, in a movie where he doesn’t die at the end). Jack met his sister’s friend Dina (Olivia Munn) by chance and instantly fell for her, but fate intervened just as he was about to kiss her and nothing happened. Now, years later, Jack’s sister Hayley (Eleanor Tomlinson) is getting married, and unbeknownst to Jack, Dina will be a guest at the wedding.
Love Wedding Repeat takes place almost entirely at the wedding itself, as a comedy of errors unfolds thanks to a gaggle of impish children who switch place cards on tables; unwelcome, coked-up guest Marc (Jack Farthing), who is determined to declare his love for Hayley; Jack’s terrible ex-girlfriend Amanda (Freida Pinto), who visibly despises her boyfriend Chaz (Allan Mustafa); a crashingly dull guest named Sidney (Tim Key), who keeps telling stories about his boring coworkers; and Hayley’s “maid of honor” Bryan (Joel Fry), an aspiring actor who is determined to introduce himself to a famous director who’s also attending the wedding.
Almost nothing of substance happens in Love Wedding Repeat, the moral of which seems to boil down to “sometimes fate smiles, and sometimes it’s just out to get you, and there’s very little you can do about it.” There’s something of a statement about not allowing grief and regret to stand in the way of love, but it takes a backseat to the movie’s more slapstick elements. The film is diverting and clever, with a talented cast — the kind of low-stakes story where mishaps and mayhem abound and you know everything will get sorted out in the end. Netflix has managed to distribute some of the sweetest rom-coms of recent years, and Love Wedding Repeat falls into that camp. It doesn’t have much to say, but at least, it says it very pleasantly.
Critical consensus: Love Wedding Repeat has garnered mixed reviews from critics. At Indiewire, Kate Erbland writes, “There’s much to enjoy in the film’s first hour, which plays out a bit like an updated Four Weddings and a Funeral. It’s a chatty comedy populated by amiable leads and a constellation of wacky supporting stars, with an ill-fated would-be couple at its heart.”
How to watch it: Love Wedding Repeat is streaming on Netflix.