After a few weeks in quarantine that have given me ample time to catch up on my binge-watching (just kidding, I was never really behind, but it has certainly increased) and a lifetime of watching romantic comedies, I’ve learned that the genre has distinct categories within it that all have unique characteristics. You have your rom-coms from the early 2000s, adaptations, Hallmark movies, holiday specials and more. Netflix rom-coms are a new breed of their own, increasingly gaining notoriety with streaming favorites like “Set It Up,” “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Always Be My Maybe” that have been cemented as quality heartwarmers in their own right.
Led by Sam Claflin and Olivia Munn, “Love Wedding Repeat” marries together multiple genre tropes, such as a wedding as the main backdrop, a repeating timeline, “what could have happened” love interests from a picturesque meet — cute and timely issues that all seem like the perfect recipe for a charming, albeit cheesy, viewing. It even has the adaptation checkbox marked off — it’s based on the 2012 French flick “Plan de table.”
However, I’ve realized the thing with Netflix movies is that the reaction to them is even more polarizing than typical rom-coms; they either play up the clicheness fairly well, or they’re too cringey to garner a second viewing. I won’t mince words — “Love Wedding Repeat” is certainly cringey in its attempts at comedy, but if you’re looking for a new cute movie to cozy up to while safely social distancing, it might just do the trick.
Claflin plays Jack, the charming brother of the bride, who tries to make sure sister Hayley’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) wedding goes off without a hitch. However, what he doesn’t know is that Dina (Olivia Munn), American war journalist whom he became smitten with three years ago yet never pursued, is a guest at said wedding. Jack also doesn’t know he’ll have to damage-control a myriad of wedding day disasters that include one of Hayley’s ex-boyfriends that intends to declare his love, a troublesome ex of his own and the petulant “maid of honor.” Luckily for Jack, he gets to deal with various versions of possible hijinks based on the arrangement of place cards and a happy ending is promised, one way or another.
There are aspects of “Love Wedding Repeat” that show a glimmer of even more potential, such as the beautiful and talented leads, the enchantment of a wedding in all its formal finery and a plot that can’t help but make you root for everything to work out. Unfortunately, some of director Dean Craig’s creation falls flat, like the writing of scenes that might only muster up lackluster laughter and the lack of more charismatic chemistry between the two leads.
However, most of the actors seem to make up for their limited roles, such as Claflin and Tomlinson as lovable siblings and the comedy of Joel Fry and Aisling Bea, who pull together an enjoyable watch in which you can excuse the flaws, as long as you expect them going into the film. As an avid rom-com watcher, “Love Wedding Repeat,” in all its cringey and charming glory, will certainly warm your heart, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
Hollie Lao is a staff writer and the social media manager for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.