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DVD Review: Wedding Daze

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It was nearly two years ago that I was at the local cineplex to see The Libertine, when I was approached by a young lady asking if I was interested in attending a test audience screening of a film being held at the nearby community college. Being the movie fan that I am, and not having had this particular opportunity before, I immediately said I would attend. She gave me a flyer with the location, date, and time, thanked me and moved on to some other people standing around.

A few days later I was sitting in an auditorium watching a film called The Pleasure of Your Company. It was the very first cut of the film, had temp music, unfinished effects, and the end credits was just a scroll of the words "End Credits." It was an enjoyable experience with a film I felt was entertaining if insubstantial. We had a brief discussion with a couple of the producers in attendance and went on our way.

What does this have to do with Wedding Daze? Well, The Pleasure of Your Company was the original title of the film, which has also been called The Next Girl I See (which is actually the best of the three titles). Nearly two years since that first cut, the film makes its DVD debut (released this past January), completely bypassing American theatrical release. I am guessing the tests did not go that well and they felt it would perform stronger going straight to DVD. Still, it has been put up on the big screen in other nations around the world, beginning with the UK in June of 2007 and most recently in Turkey this past January, plus it will have a German release this May. To date, it has taken in north of $7.5 million worldwide. Small potatoes to be sure, but nothing to sneeze at for a little film like this.

Anyway, the film stars Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher as the unlikliest of engaged couples. Comedian Michael Ian Black makes his feature film debut as writer and director. It is comedy about love, marriage, and the wackiness that can lead us in very strange directions in the search for it. Well, something like that anyway. Revisiting the film in a more complete format on DVD reveals it to be a lesser experience than it was at the test screening. The only reason it is at all entertaining is the presence of the likable stars.

As the movie opens, Jason Biggs as Anderson is dressed, rather nearly naked, as Cupid and is about to enter a restaurant where his girlfriend, Vanessa (Audra Blaser), is awaiting his arrival. He is preparing to propose to her, while she is tempted by the busboy and his line of being special ops. Anyway, Anderson enters and delivers his proposal to the shocked patronage. Before Vanessa can answer, she keels over and dies of an apparent heart attack.

This tragedy throws his life into a shambles to the point where he scarcely does anything. Then, about a year into his self-imposed isolation, his best friend encourages him to look around and find someone new. Anderson looks around the diner and spies the waitress. Her name is Katie (Isla Fisher). He proceeds to propose, she accepts, and comedy ensues.

We are introduced to both sets of wacky parents, including Katie's felon father Smitty (Joe Pantoliano). We meet Katie's circus friends, Jane (Heather Goldenhersh) and Matador (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Together, they all try to keep them together, while Vanessa's ghost haunts Anderson and Katie's ex, Michael, attempts to keep them apart.

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