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I’ve been on a bit of a British kick lately after getting an all-region dvd player and some UK Region 2 discs. At the moment I have been checking out the hilarious series “Spaced” from the guys behind the hilarious Shaun of the Dead. One thing I love about British comedy is the use of many of the same actors/friends in a variety of projects; for instance, two of the stars from “Spaced” are in last year’s brilliant mockumentary Confetti. Much like Christopher Guest does here in America, director/conceiver Debbie Isitt has compiled a who’s who of actors from England for an almost totally improvised film. Like Guest’s earlier work Best in Show, Confetti relies on a clash of disparate personalities on their quest to win a competition, here a house by having the most original wedding. This film has all the comedy and heart that I had hoped For Your Consideration would have and didn’t. I thoroughly enjoyed the story progression and laughed right on through to the end.

The fantastic Martin Freeman and Jessica Stevenson (along with a bit part from Mark Heap make up the duo from “Spaced”) really carry the film with their natural comedic instincts and ability to drive a sequence of events forward. Much of the bottled up emotion and facial expressions that were such a great success in “The Office” make Freeman the most realistic character here as he and Stevenson attempt their musical wedding. Rounding out the other wedding contestants are the tennis pros Meredith MacNeill and Stephen Mangan (the attitude and destructive personalities remind me of Parker Posey and her husband role in Best in Show) and the naturalists Olivia Colman and Robert Webb (with impressive comfortability being nude almost the entire duration). The three couples have their moments with the quirky cast of characters included in their back-story, but also in their dealings with the wedding planners. Played perfectly by Vincent Franklin and Jason Watkins, these two really steal the show with their professionalism being brought to the edge of insanity at every turn. How they deal with the egos of the contestants and how they try to stay diplomatic with everyone is priceless.

At the conclusion of the film, I really found myself enjoying all that went on. True, while the nudity was a bit off-putting, as I didn’t realize how abundant it would be, it still worked in the context of the story; they needed to be nude in order for the audience to buy into their lifestyle and characters. The little things, like that, are done right here and make me think of what could be in these types of movies in America. All the players are improvising yet none are checking the realism of their words at the door, they swear and demean others as their characters believably would in those situations. There is no stipulation that would most likely be included in Hollywood of cleaning up your language for a PG13 rating. Also, I give the filmmakers kudos for not cheating the audience by having the whole film build up to the weddings and only showing us bit parts with reactions being more prominent. Thankfully we get to see the entirety of each wedding and that payoff really makes the ride completely worth it.

Confetti 7/10

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photography:
[1] L-R: Martin Freeman and Jessica Stevenson in CONFETTI. Photo Credit: Robert Goldstein

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