Beautiful Wedding (2024)

Beautiful Wedding Review

Beautiful Wedding

The year before last saw the release of Beautiful Disaster, a movie that no one wanted and nobody asked for. It belongs to this strange era in filmmaking where everyone wants their own Fifty Shades aka take a bad fanfiction, file off some serial numbers and make a movie out of it. This gave us the terrible After series, the rapey 365 Days series and another series that exists apparently but with Beautiful Disaster we had a bad boy boxer paired with an innocent young woman who made some sort of bet where they wouldn’t fuck each other for 30 days and then of course fell in love because it’s that kind of movie. It wasn’t the worst iteration of this type, but it was pretty fucking terrible (8th worst of 2023 as I recall) so finding out there was gonna be a sequel did not have me jumping for joy. I thought After was over with, maybe I’d get a break from this shit for awhile but no… Prime Studios had other plans for me, evil plans.

After their whirlwind romance last year Abby Abernathy (Virginia Gardner) and Travis Maddox (Dylan Sprouse) wake up in Vegas having found out that they won three million dollars in the lottery, got matching tattoos and also got married. Instead of doing what might be interesting about trying to figure out what happened here they decide to bring their friends Shepley (Austin North) and America (Libe Barer) along on a Mexican honeymoon where they can also try to figure out whether or not they should stay married or get it annulled… no I don’t know why they couldn’t just stay in Vegas to do that either because that would imply this movie explained any single thing it tried to do or made any artistic sense beyond “Well this sorta worked before let’s try again”

To give Beautiful Wedding more credit than it probably deserves this is actually quite a dramatic step up from Beautiful Disaster. While Beautiful Disaster felt like an After knockoff with a couple of accidental comedy moments thrown in this is just straight up genre parody and there are actually points where it almost works. There are a few scenes that feel like they’re just taking what After, Fifty Shades or 365 Days did completely seriously and amping it up to 11 in order to be absurd and when those moments land you can see where the potential could have been. Obviously it doesn’t because this feels like it was written in 1998 and the jokes aged like milk left out on the counter, but at least you can see where this might’ve had a chance.

What is really not working here is that Beautiful Wedding, yes you heard it right, this film is meant to be a sequel to Beautiful Disaster and if we are honest it could not contrast more in terms of tone. We have gone from what I would generously call a gentle mocking of genre stereotypes to a movie that is genuinely a cartoon at one point. Every scene has been scored like somebody found the music from a similar scene in loony toons and stole it, there are silly sound effects and little animated penises that pop up occasionally just to make a joke even sillier. It’s a tone so heightened it doesn’t fit anything about this story or the movie before it or any of the performances we’re seeing.

And speaking of those performances, all credit in the world has to go to Dylan and Virginia who are doing everything they can just to make sure this movie is fun for someone somewhere. They largely fail because trying to make this into a good movie is like trying to climb up a 30-foot wall while naked and covered in oil but god damn do they try. They almost get there too, their raw charm and genuinely great delivery almost pulls out a laugh every time something that resembles a joke is put in their mouths they commit as much as one can commit when you are obviously miscast (does anyone seriously buy Dylan Sprouse as an angry kickboxer? He’d win an oscar if he had made that believable) but that can only get you so far when your script came out last century.

The whole script for this feels like it was Kumble’s leftover draft from around 2002 after he did Cruel Intentions because every single joke in this movie feels like its from then. From the Mexican honeymoon (complete with literal marching band playing La Cucaracha every chance they get) to the cultural jokes that were barely acceptable back then, to cliche scenes lifted straight from bad sitcoms, every single joke here has been done so many times and by so many much funnier people. These actors are funny, but we’ve seen the “I have two events on at the same time and have to appear at both” bit so many times now that it’s not funny even if you throw in a lengthy discussion about how huge the main character is meant to be (it’s a running joke, as in I want to run away every time they make that joke).

When Beautiful Wedding isn’t being unfunny, uninteresting or just kind of dull, it’s being confusing which is a fun thing to throw on top of everything. Things just kind of happen in this movie, there’s nothing motivated about anything. We start with the main cast waking up to learn that two of them are married and then literally jump cut to them about to board an army plane (??!?!!!) so they can go to Mexico for their honeymoon. A character allegedly follows them to try and get the money back, but it’s a side plot that never really affects the main cast and means nothing to the overall plot. The whole “Should we get an annulment” thing is basically an occasional running gag but doesn’t really mean much to the story, it’s just scene after scene of “What can we do in Mexico during a honeymoon movie” without any rhyme or reason. Not saying the plot needs to be some grandly planned spectacle, I’m aware of what movie we’re talking about here, but it might help if people’s actions felt like they were motivated by something other than “Look, we have access to this location and this person is willing to show off this body part so let’s work with that”.

There is no pretending that Beautiful Wedding is a good movie, it’s almost objectively a bad film that offers nothing of substance for those who subject themselves to it… but it’s mostly just kind of dull. It’s not hateful enough to anger the blood, it’s not offensive enough to get righteous about, and it’s not a film that had some great promise (even as fun trash) that lets the audience down. No, it’s just dull. It’s a dull film that occasionally flickers between watchable and actually quite bad (opening with the main cast basically waterboarding someone was certainly not the best omen) but it’s just dull. Maybe if this came out 20 years ago when the shitty romcoms were at their peak it might have been timely and had a moment of being somewhat interesting in its mocking of conventions but in 2024? It’s a bland dated film that is blessed with the gift of being forgettable.

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