Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Decoy Bride (2011)

Seen: Streamed from netflix instant, on my laptop.

So I am a person who generally needs to watch something before I go to bed, when I'm alone. When my boyfriend is away I tend to suddenly fit a lot of MST3K episodes and netflix instant into my schedule. A few nights before Christmas, after a busy night packing up final etsy orders, I figured I'd fall asleep to some dumb romantic comedy on instant, and decided to try out The Decoy Bride, and somehow I watched the entire movie without meaning to. Oops. Set on the picturesque (and fictional) Scottish island of Hegg, the film offers an unsurprisingly ludicrous rom-com premise: Well-respected novelist James Neil Arbor (David Tennant) is engaged to Lara Tyler (Alice Eve), a wildly successful actress and very likely the perfect woman, but the marriage is perpetually spoiled by ravenous paparazzi. They move their nuptials to the small, isolated island where Arbor set his book, and due to ridiculous circumstances that lead to Lara's disappearance, he is forced to marry one of the locals (Kelly MacDonald) posing as the actress to fool the members of the press who followed them. Arbor and his unintended bride, Katie, find themselves on a weird journey around the island, rife with misunderstandings and silly happenings, all while trying to locate Lara so the real marriage can take place.

Ugh on paper this movie sounds so stupid, I know! I hated writing that convoluted plot summary! But seriously, The Decoy Bride is actually pretty enjoyable, with a cute script and a really great cast, and characters I actually give a shit about. It helps that I really love Kelly MacDonald, and that I find David Tennant weirdly attractive (the hilarious fur vest and striped bell bottoms he's saddled with for half the film put a damper on that though). Extra goodies include Michael Urie in a funny (and ADORABLE) turn as Lara's overworked manager- just after I'd been obsessing over Ugly Betty (late to the party on that one, I know, but what a great show!)- and Dylan Moran with a little screen time as a hungry reporter. Plus the cinematography is beautiful, thanks to fantastic scenery and some fun locations, and there's a lot of clever talk about writing. It's nothing groundbreaking or especially memorable, but overall it's just an enjoyable, silly-but-not-stupid romantic comedy. It sticks close to a good central female character and gives her most of the best lines, which is kind of neat since usually it seems like with these types of movies we're often meant to laugh AT the female lead for her clumsiness or whatever, instead of WITH her for her wit. MacDonald really shines here, I hope she gets more leading roles since she tends to pop up in supporting or ensemble parts when I see her in film and tv.

3.5/5

Pair This Movie With: Umm I don't know, another romantic comedy about weddings? There's My Best Friend's Wedding, Made of Honor, 27 Dresses, and The Wedding Date, but none of those are very good. And yeah I have seen all of them because guess what? I watch a ton of shitty romantic comedies, it's a sad but true fact about me. Anyway. The Wedding Singer? The Philadelphia Story, maybe?

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