6 out of 10

Release Date: 13th May 2013 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Donald Rice

Cast: Felicity Jones, Luke Treadaway, Elizabeth McGovern, Ellie Kendrick, Zoe Tapper, Mackenzie Crook, Fenella Woolgar, Barbara Flynn, Olly Alexander, Sophie Stanton, James Norton, Kenneth Collard with John Standing and Julian Wadham

Writer: Donald Rice & Mary Henely-Magill


To Be Proofread: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding has certainly been made for those that hanker for the period dramas us Brits made so well in the 80s – mid 90s for film and TV.   I also suspect there is a renewed market for this kind of thing – certainly on TV – with the re-booted Upstairs, Downstairs and phenomenally popular Downton Abbey.  It certainly is the best of this kind of film I;ve seen in a very long time.  Modern young things don’t seem to have nailed the ease with which actors of the previous generation could embody the upper classes of a 100 years ago. The performances seem to rigid and uncomfortable in the likes of Atonement or Summer in February – however Cheerful Weather For The Wedding has found a nice mix of experienced actors for Merchant Ivory‘s hey day and a scattering of bright young things that are perfectly suited for their roles.  For once Luke Treadaway (GET LUCKY) puts away his desires to be a gangster and sails away in a wonderful role as a handsome young doctor still hoping to whisk the bride away at the last minute to renew an old – half started affair.

The plot is light. It’s mainly a farcial and mildly amusing microcosm of life in a country house. Picture a funny Gosford Park and then half the cast and budget and you’re there.  On the day of Dolly Thatcham’s (FELICITY JONES – LIKE CRAZY) wedding, various members of her extended staff all mill around helping, hindering, bitching and conspiring – whilst the loyal staff pretty much do the same. Dolly’s old flame – Dr Patten (Treadaway) pops up to put the mockers on things but Mother (ELIZABETH MCGOVERN – ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA) has already anticipated this and has a plan to deflect him.

The whole thing floats along quite pleasantly and is only elevated because it’s way better than a lot of British movies that get released these days. It’s sad though that this only because of the rapid decline in quality in the films available.  In the 80s/90s – this movie would have been brushed off as mediocre and it really is. It’s no Gosford Park, Howard’s End or A Room With a View – it’s more on a level with An Ideal Husband or Easy Virtue.  Its only mediocre because it’s a frothy farce though and fails to engage the brain much in the way an action film doesn’t.  I would recommend it though as an effective throwback to when the industry used to be able produce three of these in it’s sleep per month. Now we’re lucky to get one competent one per year. Because of the upswing in popularity over the fence in TV land, I call for even better films like this one but better.

6 out of 10 – A nice return to the ‘cucumber sandwich and ginger beer’ movies of the 80s and 90s.  Well casted and acted but too inconsequential to make a lasting impression. A nice change though considering all the gangster or royal flicks that are the rage at the moment. I’d like to see one of these movies in with Craig Fairbrass and Terry Stone as snooty lords and games keepers one day.



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