“Don’t give up on the crazy; that’s what makes love love.”
Dennis Dugan’s Love, Weddings & Other Disasters begins with a spectacular breakup during a skydive, which ends up sweeping a wedding party off a dock, which becomes a viral video that earns florist Jessie (Maggie Grace) fame as “The Wedding Trasher”. Soon, she gets her first job as a wedding coordinator and is determined to make it wonderful for the couple.
The wedding really isn’t the focus of the story. It serves as the background for various stories of people falling in love. They include Lawrence Phillips (Jeremy Irons), an overly finicky caterer from whom Jessie has taken over for this wedding, and Sara (Diane Keaton), a blind date he’s been fixed up with who really is blind; Captain Ritchie (Andrew Bachelor), a Duck Boat tour guide who has fallen in love with a woman he’s only seen once on a tour and is searching for her; nerdish Lenny (Jesse McCartney), who happens to be the brother of the groom, and Olga (Melinda Hill), a Russian stripper, who are chained together as part of a reality TV dating show.
Naturally, all the plans for the perfect wedding begin to fall apart, but when all the stories converge, we discover that it is not perfection that brings happiness, but finding the joys within another person that brings completeness to our lives together.
The various stories are somewhat uneven, but the “Love Boat” style construction does manage to bring us some interesting situations and gags along the way. The film also includes some interesting and appropriate songs by Elle King, who serves as the Greek chorus bringing the stories into focus.
It is said early on of Jessie that she is busy working on weddings rather than getting married herself. That gives us a hint into the target idea of the film, that we can often lose ourselves in our work in ways that keep us from finding the happiness of love. That is expanded most clearly in the story between Lawrence and Sara. In fact, I’d have been content for most of the film to be their story (but that may be in part because I identify with the age of the characters).
The film is also a statement about the concept of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. The perfect wedding can easily be something that takes all the joy out of the celebration of love that should be the real focus.
Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is showing in theaters (where open) and on VOD.
Photos courtesy of Saban Films.