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Laramie Movie Scope:

Unfunny, squabbling wedding crashers

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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January 9, 2012 -- This romantic, drama-tinged comedy about a couple of guys who crash a weekend wedding party isn't very funny, dramatic or romantic. This was supposed to be a comedy about a couple of losers, a beautiful gold digger bride, a narcissistic groom, the bride's lush of a brother and their weekend escapades. The comedic element doesn't work. Most of these people just seem sad and misguided. It is directed by Henry Winkler's son, Max Winkler. Henry is listed in the credits.

The best-known face in the movie is Uma Thurman (“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”) who plays Zoe, the bride. A sort of old flame of hers, Sam Davis (played by Michael Angarano of “The Forbidden Kingdom”) shows up at the wedding party, three days before the wedding, along with his friend, Marshall Schmidt (played by Reece Thompson of “Assassination of a High School President”). Sam is an author who is relatively unsuccessful, while Marshall is basically an existential dropout.

Sam once had a fling with Zoe and thinks he can rekindle the flame in time to keep Zoe from marrying a successful filmmaker, Whit Coutell (Lee Pace of “The Good Shepherd”). Coutell seems so self-absorbed with his own self-importance it seems a surprise when he occasionally aknowledges the existence of other human beings on earth. He is strong, self-confident and successful. Sam suspects Zoe is marrying him for his money and wants to rescue her from that fate.

There is definitely something unsavory about Coutell. Zoe does seem to be marrying him for his money, to take care of her and her alcoholic brother, Teddy (Jake M. Johnson of “Get Him to the Greek”). Teddy is the movie's main comic relief, but he isn't given much to do except drink, nearly drown and dispense advice that doesn't quite make sense. So that leaves just one main character as a person who actually has some character, Marshall. Late in the film, Marshall has a confrontation with Sam. He points out that Sam is deluding himself about Zoe and about being an author and that he has not been a good friend to him. This is all true, but it isn't really dramatic, or funny, or romantic.

I once had a discussion with a relative, a Republican, who thought it was more romantic to marry for money than to marry for love, but I would guess that is a minority view, even among Republicans. There has always been something unsavory about gold-digging brides like Anna Nicole Smith. In the film, Zoe never says she loves Coutell, but says he does love her and he makes her feel “secure,” i.e., rich. Zoe likes Sam, but she makes it clear that she is not going to run away with him to live in a “one bedroom apartment.” That is not the lifestyle she is accustomed to. He's not rich enough, handsome enough, or tall enough, she says, so hit the road, Sam. This doesn't seem either romantic or funny. It isn't dramatic either, it is more like marriage based on accounting. It is a cold calculation. It sure left me cold. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)