September 17, 2020  (Web Review)

A Simple Wedding

Breaking Glass, 88 min., DVD: $24.99, Jun. 9

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

As culturally diverse, social media-savvy, millennial rom-coms go, A Simple Wedding might just be one or two script revisions away from a decent film. The action centers on the romantic plight of Nousha (Tara Grammy), a young Iranian American real estate attorney living in LA. Nousha’s still under the oppressive thumb of her posh parents, who seem to be thoroughly Americanized in a conspicuous consumption sense but wholly traditional when it comes to pressurizing their offspring to marry someone respectable and religious. When she’s not closing property deals, Nousha’s out protesting against patriarchal oppression with her activist lesbian pals and blithely living the single life.  But one day while on a particularly hapless protest march she meets bespectacled bisexual visual artist and part-time DJ Alex (Christopher O’Shea), who looks (and often acts) like Jim Carrey’s mini-me. The two fall hard for each other, and Alex is particularly hot for Nousha’s Celine Dion impressions. Alex is not only a child of divorce, but his mother (Rita Wilson) is a lost cause looking for a second chance. And his father has renounced women altogether and is now happily married to another man (and Alex is bisexual, get it?). After a few short months, a wedding is planned: just not the one Nousha’s patrician parents had been hoping for. And of course, the ceremony is a disaster, with Nousha getting cold feet at the altar. Then the film quickly—and somewhat implausibly—morphs from a comedy of Eros to a comedy of errors. The second half falls flat when it ill-advisedly shifts its perspective from Alex and Nousha to Alex’s mom Maggie and her improbable love affair with Nousha’s conservative war veteran uncle Maz.  The script, penned by director Sarah Zandieh and Stephanie Wu, makes an admirable effort to mix up a heady cultural jambalaya here and milk the scenario for a few good laughs. But a few giggle worthy gags do not a great comedy make. Optional. (M. Sandlin)