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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Peter Bradshaw

The People We Hate at the Wedding review – a tepid glass of nuptial chardonnay

Gorblimey, it’s London … The People We Hate at the Wedding.
Gorblimey, it’s London … The People We Hate at the Wedding. Photograph: Laurie Sparham/Amazon Prime Video

An excruciating generational non-romcom featuring Crazy Rich Non-Asians from America coming to posh London and the land of Paddington and Downton Abbey for the wedding of one of their half-siblings from across the pond, with all the traditional business of hen parties and rehearsal dinners and set at a prominently branded five-star hotel.

Allison Janney plays Donna, who in her youth married a guy in England, had a daughter and divorced him then came back to the US, married an American and had another girl and a boy with him before this second husband died. Now grown up, Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is a haughty British princess getting married in London with full bridezilla prerogatives (apparently doing it outdoors) and American Alice (Kristen Bell), tormented by all her own romantic worries, has reluctantly showed up for these nuptials in Blighty with her sarcastic brother Paul (Ben Platt) and his boyfriend Dominic (Karan Soni), ready for some American-abroad high jinks while Donna reconnects with her roguishly attractive first husband, Henrique (Isaach de Bankolé).

It’s pretty much a laugh-free film to make you appreciate the work of Nancy Meyers or Richard Curtis; their films may look easy or corny but they have something this doesn’t, a kind of buoyancy or a way of alchemising all the luxury tourist incidentals into something entertaining. I have to concede that the rehearsal dinner fight scene is lively, but all too short, and Janney has a punchy speech to Henrique. But this a really tepid glass of chardonnay.

• The People We Hate at the Wedding is on Prime Video from 18 November.

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