Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Case for Secrecy

A second New Zealand rom com in short succession - what is going on?

Well, Love Birds and My Wedding and Other Secrets are very different films. The former has the look and feel of a fairly mainstream movie, and everything that entails. The latter has a distinctly smaller budget ambience and feels a bit more intimate and honest because of it.

That's not to say there aren't painful moments in
My Wedding and Other Secrets. The most earnest scenes - and there have to be some heart-to-hearts as traditional Chinese culture clashes with a New Zealand upbringing and the inter-racial love - had me occasionlly hiding my eyes behind my hands, as it's very obvious what is supposed to be going on, and to carry the story forward, they have to happen. It's just that occasionally... ow.

But that's getting the bad part out of the way. The rest is actually really charming, with the leads adorkably cute, though in a moviestar-good-looks-under-the-dorkish-cover way, of course. Their love blossoms incredibly quickly (doesn't it always?) after which the pace of the film slows remarkably, as the characters deal with the main theme of the story - keeping their relationship under wraps. And that's about it really, as James and Emily are really the only characters given any personality, but considering the other characters only fleetingly appear anyway, that's not really a problem.

It is all based on a true story, and so kind of has to have the odd awkward reference to the story making a good film. And it does, in an amateurish but heartfelt way. It also makes quite a few references to mid 90s University life which struck a chord, though I can't swear that all the props were based on that time. And it can't go wrong with a soundtrack mainly written and performed by Bic Runga. And I liked it.

Verdict: A feel good film showing a different side of modern day Kiwi life, My Wedding and Other Secrets is a lot of fun. It's not a revelation, not by a long shot, but it feels distinctly more a Kiwi story than some other romantic comedies out there. And the Chinese food throughout looks incredible, if occasionally intimidating. 7 live crabs out of 10.

No comments: