Confetti is a mockumentary film that “captures” the lives of three couples as they plan, rehearse and co-ordinate their dream themed weddings – not only for themselves, but also as part of a competition hosted by Confetti wedding magazine. The couples include Matt and Samantha (Martin Freeman and Jessica Stevenson) who want a Hollywood musical themed wedding, Josef and Isabelle (Stephen Mangan and Meredith MacNeill) who want a tennis themed wedding and Michael and Joanna (Robert Webb and Olivia Colman) who are naturists and want to be married in the buff. As their big days draw closer the underlying tension and stress that goes with putting a wedding together is revealed to the cameras with, at times, hilarious and sincere honesty.
Confetti sounds like a great idea/concept but I wasn’t extremely impressed with it. I enjoyed the film but felt that something was often lacking – a true cohesiveness if you will. It felt like a film, but didn’t, and only after reading the film’s press release did I understand why. Confetti is a completely improvised piece of cinema. Director Debbie Isitt came up with the concept for the film after witnessing the trials her sister went through with her own wedding and then immersed herself in wedding culture for two years.
She combined her ideas with a reality TV concept (ala X-Factor) and sold the idea to investors, attached actors to the project (who would stay in character for the entire six week shooting period) and shot 150 hours of footage that would eventually be edited into a story. The whole production process is fascinating and as an experiment it is extremely successful – coordinating Confetti must have been an incredibly difficult process – but as a film it lacks a certain amount of character development and progression.
There was nothing within this film that made me feel a part of the world I was being shown. I was simply watching. There of course is nothing wrong with that but when I watch a movie, whether it be a mockumentary or an action blockbuster, I more often than not want to identify – in some form – with the characters. There is little of this in Confetti.
The in-awe face-pulling that Martin Freeman exhibited in The Office is fully present here and I was disappointed by this. I was hoping to see more than just the bemused character of Tim that brought him fame. In fact, I found his character, Samantha and the naturists to be extremely lacking. I was distanced. The tennis couple, however, are fascinating and great to watch – what type of person wants a tennis themed wedding? The gay wedding planners (Vincent Franklin and Jason Watkins) are also another great combination that provide some of the films best moments. Whether it be showing off their horrendous choreography for the march of the ball boys or being verbally attacked by Samantha’s mother they form the glue – if you will – that holds not only the couples but the film together.
Confetti is, regardless of its faults, an enjoyable watch. The three couples are completely obsessed with their own themed weddings and when the competition heated up and tensions begin to flare I genuinely had a good time. The fight scene between Josef and real life tennis coach Jesus de Miguel is an example of where the improvisational style works beautifully.
It’s a pity, however, that the film is not able to maintain a tight structure throughout. Improvising an entire movie is impressive but I can’t help but think how this film would have turned out if the improvisation had taken place around a script.