By Kim Hughes
A family wedding triggers several uncomfortable reunions and a few meltdowns in writer/director Pat Kiely’s fizzy comedy Another Kind of Wedding which, despite boasting a handful of American stars, never attempts to mask its Canadian setting or sensibility. And yes, there is such a thing as a Canadian sensibility.
Matthew and Louisa (Jacob Tierney and Jessica Parker Kennedy) are getting hitched in Montreal, which brings his Toronto-based family to town. That includes his two moms, ex-lovers Barbara (Kathleen Turner) and Tammy (Frances Fisher), estranged step-brother Kurt (Kevin Zegers) and voice-of-reason sister Carrie (Jessica Paré), whose match with hippy-dippy boyfriend Misha (Luke Kirby) is increasingly unhinged.
Add in the fact that Louisa and Kurt used to date — and that Louisa is very much the alpha in her relationship with Matthew — and things gets awkward fast. Much pot is smoked, punches are thrown, and a cascading series of heart-to-hearts advance the action as flashbacks fill in additional details. There’s also a subplot of sorts featuring Wallace Shawn and a beautiful woman staying at the family’s hotel.
Everyone is in on the film’s writ-large archness, including Paré who is the emotional centre, though she must convey with her eyes what Turner pulls off with profanity and zingers. But this is a likable bunch with palpable chemistry and that goes a long way towards making Another Kind of Wedding watchable if not the very best movie you’ll see this year.
Another Kind of Wedding. Written and directed by Pat Kiely. Starring Kathleen Turner, Jessica Paré, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Kevin Zegers, Wallace Shawn, Frances Fisher, Jacob Tierney and Luke Kirby. Opens May 18 in Toronto (Cineplex, Yonge & Dundas), Calgary (Cineplex, Eau Claire), Halifax (Cineplex, Parklane) and Vancouver (Cineplex, The Park). Available May 22 on VOD/digital.