I love wedding movies. I love listening to the music and watching the celebrations and of course, the obvious disequilibrium that follows. However, ‘Almost Married’ had something different in store for me. The common wedding flick is known for its chick flick status. ‘Almost Married’ is completely different, mainly in that it opens with our protagonist, the groom, running stark naked through the woods dodging paintballs. So to start off with, it has a larger target audience than your typical ‘wedding flick’.
I have to be honest here and say that I was slightly skeptical of this movie after reading the plot. Our protagonist, Kyle, (portrayed by Philip McGinley who has had roles in Game of Thrones and Prometheus as well as formally staring in coronation street.) is a nearly married man, who goes on his stag do and returns with a sexually transmitted disease that keeps him from having sex with his soon to be wife Lydia (portrayed by Emily Atack, known for starring in the Inbetweeners.) Kyle is very much the typical English boy who drinks to much and sleeps with a prostitute in this case and participates in typical rowdiness.
I did not like the sound of this film. Maybe because in some areas the idea of a realistic take on life portrayed in a movie causes some anxiety in that I can’t hide behind this veil of the imaginary. There are things in ‘Almost Married’ that make me question the world that we live in. I mean Kyle doesn’t seem to care that he cheated, all he worries about is his fiancee finding out. I mean are all men this senseless? Therefore, in some ways, this makes me feel overly uncomfortable.
I feel like there is this great divide between British Cinema and for instance, American pictures. One of the areas where I for instance, see the divide is in the portrayal of the characters. Even in American indi films, I feel like the actors are ‘acting’ like they are taking on completely different personas. Where this differs in ‘Almost Married’, is that personally, I feel like the actors are being themselves and not portraying a character. This is however, a personal opinion and may be because of the very distinctive English accents. This is not to say however, that the acting was bad, quite the contrary. Both McGinley and Mark Stobbart who portrays Jarvis did an good job at consistently playing the typical man. However, I feel like the chemistry between McGinley and Atack was less than satisfactory.
Its offensive but yet has the odd moment when I found myself laughing and the odd point where I felt physically sick. On the plus note, I feel like Ben Cookson did a good job in directing and writing this movie, as it is his first full length film. There is always the added element of realism which I mentioned before. All the ‘real’ elements talking about STIs and pictures that I would rather not see, are fairly educational. However, its finding the boundary between an educational fun movie, rather than something that reminds me of high school sex education. This film is balancing on the fence, in that sex education movies rarely promote lying, which Kyle seems very happy to do. However, even with the lying, there the educational message of the consequences of lying.
There are themes in this film that I quite like despite not completely enjoying it on the whole. Obviously the main one being love, theres the question of whether Kyle is maybe keeping this big secret from Lydia because of his love for her. However, I feel that the main theme behind this film is friendship. Kyle’s right hand man Jarvis is an awful person. He seems to be the instigator of Kyle’s shenanigans and is always there when trouble comes around. However, he is also always there when Kyle needs him, no matter how dysfunctional the situation may be.
The conclusion is a complete letdown. To a film that overall is unsatisfying. In that this is a film full of lying and deceit and to be honest, I wanted it to end.
DVD Release Date:
7th April 2014
Emily Atack, Philip McGinley, Bill Fellows, Mark Stobbart