Samoan Wedding

2007-06-25 17:22
What it’s about:

Four guys whose college-brawl antics have gotten them banned from their brother's wedding are told they can only attend if they can each persuade a woman to go as their date. This proves surprisingly hard for them.

What we thought of it:

Cliches are the backbone (such as it is) of the romantic comedy genre, but they're only effective if the filmmaker, cast and writers are aware of them and can make them fresh by writing around them, not within them. But Somoan Wedding isn’t even aware they are cliches, and takes boorish delight in trotting out the same old offensive stereotypes.

Though there's the occasional (unintentional) moment of perceptiveness, where a society in confusion and decay is briefly portrayed, the movie lacks all subtlety and it's hard to like the boring central characters. Think interminable frat party for ageing alcoholics dressed up as New Zealanders.

Like any failed comedy about failed people, Samoan Wedding is mostly depressing. The men have to be forced, manipulated and trained to be nearly-nice people. The women in their lives, instead of starting a faux-lesbian community as a plausible excuse to avoid them, put up with so much nonsense, and forgive them so easily, that the rare moments of humour are swamped.

You're left feeling mainly disgust at the pitiful lack of pride shown by most of the characters. Could this so called comedy really be a sinister right-wing plot, aiming to discredit and denigrate Samoan culture in New Zealand? If not, it certainly unintentionally performs that function.

Ham-headed, sexist and deeply depressing, this comedy is an unconvincing overaged frat-boy ramble that is as predictable as it's bad. It's like a first-year film project without the charm or a bad American rom-com without the gloss (by the way, the Americans are busy remaking it, undoubtedly with prettier people and even more fart and bum jokes.)

By the end of this pitiful farce, you'll find you couldn't care less about the happy ending. Any ending will do. Bring on the credits. I doubt many people will stay to read them.

- Jean Barker
The chaos, tension and painful family dynamics surrounding a wedding are romantic comedy gold. But you still need loveable characters, natural dialogue and a bit of class. Instead we get drunks, misogynists and depressing stereotypes.

Nigel 2007/06/05 12:52 PM
Samoan Wedding In New Zealand it was released as Sione's Wedding. I saw the movie when I was living in NZ, and I can say that it is a very accurate partrayal of how the Pacific Islanders live. The acting could have been better, but the rawness of it in my opinion brings a realness to the movie and of Islander culture. I watched it over and over and didn't find it less amusing. But I was reluctant to bring it back with me to SA because I knew that we would not understand the type of humour. Sorry, but I quite liked it, and so did 80% of New Zealanders!!
Pam 2007/06/05 1:34 PM
Samoan Wedding Nigel, was it as raw as Once were Warriors? I really enjoyed that movie but thought the 2nd one was quite bad, so if Samoan Wedding is along similar lines to the first OWW, I wouldn't mind going to see it.
Nigel 2007/06/05 3:43 PM
Samoan Wedding It is a comedy, so the whole movie is much more lighthearted as opposed to Once Were Warriors, which was very dark and dramatic, and of course had a lot to do with Maori culture. But it is very entertaining in its own way, and anyone who has an open mind (and not expect Hollywood) would probably enjoy the movie. I wouldn't compare this movie to OWW, because it is very different in style. Hope this helps.
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