Review: Fifth Time’s Not the Charm in This ‘Wilde Wedding’

Review: Fifth Time’s Not the Charm in This ‘Wilde Wedding’
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John Malkovich in “The Wilde Wedding.” Credit Vertical Entertainment

“I’ve done some stupid things in my life,” says Laurence Darling (John Malkovich), a stage actor, at one point in “The Wilde Wedding.” It’s a line that Mr. Malkovich might easily filch to excuse his participation in this execrable remarriage comedy, one that’s mystifyingly seeded with acting heavyweights. Maybe the writer and director, Damian Harris, has a dossier.

Video

Trailer: ‘The Wilde Wedding’

A preview of the film.

By VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT on Publish Date September 10, 2017. Image courtesy of Internet Video Archive. Watch in Times Video »

The wedding in question is the fifth try for Eve Wilde (Glenn Close, looking bored to the point of embalmed), an over-the-hill film star and Laurence’s ex-wife. Her latest intended is a writer named Harold (Patrick Stewart, mugging beneath a horrendously permed wig), and he and several generations of the couple’s families and hangers-on have convened at Eve’s lavish New York estate for the nuptials. Sex and drugs and formulaic frolicking ensue.

With too many characters to keep track of, never mind care about, the viewer is reduced to counting the movie’s many irritants. There’s the virtually nonstop, banal music; the bleating narration of a family member (Grace Van Patten), who’s making a documentary; the inane dialogue (“Love is in the air!”). While Harold gets it on with a woman seemingly young enough to have missed the fall of the Berlin Wall (in one of the film’s more distasteful digressions), Laurence — all head-to-toe cream and fey wrist-flicking — is such a parody he belongs in a mockumentary about classical actors.

The soullessness of the enterprise is staggering. Making clichéd, cynical gestures toward romance, Mr. Harris (whose last feature was almost a decade ago) tortured me for a full 96 minutes. You’re welcome.

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