Confetti review by Mike Long

The modern idea of the "mockumentary", a film which looks like a real documentary but is actualized an account of a fictional subject, can be traced to 1984's This is Spinal Tap. Christopher Guest acted in the film and also served as one of the writers. From there, Guest would continue the "mockumentary" tradition with Waiting For Guffman, Best in Show. A Mighty Wind, and his latest, For Your Consideration. While there are certainly others making "mockumentaries", no one else combined Guest's approach of a fictional, yet plausible subject and characters, combined with a cast who improvises most of the material. That is, until now. The British import Confetti feels like a Guest film...just with more accents.

Confetti Magazine is Britain's most popular guide to weddings and wedding planning. In an attempt to further boost circulation, editor Vivian (Felicity Montagu) and her colleague Antoni (Jimmy Carr) decide to have a contest to find the most original wedding theme. The winning couple will win a new house. After interviewing many couples, Vivian and Antoni narrow their choices to three; Matt (Martin Freeman) and Samantha (Jessica Stevenson), who want to have a wedding styled after movie musicals; Josef (Stephen Mangan) and Isabella (Meredith MacNeil), who has selected tennis as their theme; and Michael (Robert Webb) and Joanna (Olivia Colman), who are "naturalists" and want to get married in the nude. Into this mix are thrown wedding planners Archie Heron (Vincent Franklin) and Gregory Hough (Jason Watkins), two professionals who are given an incredibly small budget on which to throw three weddings.

As the wedding day approaches, we learn more and more about each of the couples. Matt doesn't get along with Sam's mother and sister and he feels that they bully Sam. Josef and Isabella are an incredibly competitive couple, and Josef doesn't like the amount of time which Isabella spends with her tennis coach, Jesus (Jesus de Miguel). Michael was raised as a "naturalist", and Joanna has attempted to adapt to the lifestyle, although she's not crazy about being naked in front of a room full of strangers. Each couple tries very hard to plan their perfect theme wedding, but there's a good chance that everyone could go crazy before they make it to the altar.

If imitation truly is the most sincere form of flattery, then Christopher Guest should feel very flattered by Confetti, as the movie has perfectly captured the feel of a Guest film. As with Guest's films, the movie focuses on an event and then follows those involved as they prepare for said event. In terms of structure, the movie reminded me most of Best in Show.

But, stating that Confetti follows the same formula as Guest's films shouldn't imply that it's a rip-off. The movie may not be original, but it's very well-made and certainly stands on its own. The movie scores in nearly every category. It gives us a central theme which is believable, but also just unusual enough to be intriguing. For better or for worse, all of the characters are interesting, and even those who we instantly dislike (Josef and Isabella) hold our attention. The movie also presents a very diverse group of characters, thus every scene brings something new. Also, within the contest itself, there is a genuine sense of suspense.

The most surprising thing about Confetti is the overall tone of the film. Being a "mockumentary", Confetti is first and foremost a comedy and there are certainly some wickedly funny moments here, mostly in the form of quick and sharp dialogue. However, I only laughed out loud a few times -- mostly the film offered the kind of jokes which simply made me grin to myself. In great contrast, the film offers a genuinely sweet and sincere serious side. The promoters of the contest are really in it for the publicity, but they present the promotion as being a celebration of love. In a nice twist, Confetti itself becomes a celebration of love. We see the three couples go through some very trying situations, but by the end, it's very clear that those who truly love one another can go through anything. Perhaps I've grown too accustomed by the constant cynicism seen in American entertainment, but Confetti has a real soft spot and I must say that I was touched by the film.

In many ways, Confetti offers a little something for everyone. Fans of Christopher Guest will want to see how the British tackle his style of filmmaking. The movie itself offers some funny moments and also works as a honest look at romance. The movie is never rip-roaringly funny, but it's fun nonetheless and should put a smile on your face, whether you're married or not. (Writers note: Be warned that Confetti is rated R most for the nearly constant nudity of Michael, Joanna, and their friends. This is never presented in a sexual way...but it's there just the same.)

Confetti exchanges vows with DVD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. Keeping in mind that this is a "mockumentary", the image looks good. Things get a bit grainy and out of focus at times, but let's assume that this is part of the movie. The picture is sharp and clear, and the colors look very good. The framing appears to be accurate and the image is never overly bright. There is some occasional video noise, but edge enhancement defects are minimal. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Given that this is a dialogue-driven comedy, most of the sound comes from the center channel. However, there are some decent stereo effects, and the surround sound comes to life during the finale.

The Confetti is a bit lacking in extras. "Confetti Keeps Falling -- More Tears and Tantrums" is essentially 25 minutes of deleted scenes split into three sections. There are some funny moments, but it's clear that they were trimmed for time. The DVD also features three ALTERNATE ENDINGS for the film, in a feature called "Choose Your Own Winners", which can be viewed independently or via branching, as part of the movie. I wonder if three different endings were shot to keep everyone in the dark? Anyway, the alternate endings are interesting, but they only change the winners and not much else.

7 out of 10 Jackasses

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