Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Out Now On-Demand
The arrival of a former lover throws the feelings of a bride-to-be into turmoil on her wedding day in this English comedy drama set in the '30s.
While Dolly (Cemetary Junction's Felicity Jones) fortifies herself with rum, her mother Hetty (Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern) frets about the presence of Joseph (Luke Treadaway), who seems hell-bent on declaring his love for Dolly. Before long, the guests start to wonder if the wedding will take place at all.
- Donald Rice(feature debut)
Comedy, Drama, Romance, Historical
Rating: PG contains adult themes
Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern straps on the matriarch’s hat here for a role that’s not a million miles away from her TV series, though Cheerful Weather for the Wedding itself is a slightly different beast - if by a matter of degrees rather than drastic amounts. The era is a little later, the country manor she presides over a little smaller, and its atmosphere less stuffily elitist with the film relying less on stiff upper lip drama than a mix of pining, familial farce and sweet summer love story.
An unlikely bride given her age, McGovern’s Mrs Thatcham isn’t the central character here - somewhat lucky given the American actress tries on her best posh English accent in a performance defined by her precise over-enunciation. Instead Cheerful Weather enlists Cemetery Junction’s Felicity Jones for its nervous pre-nuptials, a role which largely sees her confined to her room swigging rum while we’re entertained by family squabbling and the awkward presence of her former flame (Luke Treadaway).
Were the film to be solely about the wedding countdown and a little less wry in its humour Cheerful Weather could have ended up in Death at a Funeral territory, but by intercutting its winter pre-marital tension with summery flashbacks of youthful flirtations it offers more than that weak farce. Jones’ crush-worthiness for one thing - essential to Treadaway’s motivation in attending her wedding (otherwise, why would you?) – and allowing the film to offer a little sweet and sour within its romantic drama formula.
Seven of us (5 male, 2 female) went to see "Cheerful Weather For the Wedding Today" and came out with quite differing views. Our first thought was that the 5 guys would mark it quite low and the women quite high but this wasn't the case. I was the lowest with 2.5, bordering on 2 ( my lowest score for the year) and Cushla gave it 4 and Les (usually the hardest man to please) 4.5.
This is one of those potentially charming English films set in a delightful country house on the day of a wedding in the early 20th century. One scene in the first 5 minutes enabled me to imagine the likely plot outcome with 95% accuracy (there's not much plot!). And some very contrived film-making is involved. The events are all filmed on a very grey day interspersed with some idyllic golden flashbacks which occur on days when the sun is always shining, with one crucial exception, and complete with "Darling Buds of May" music. There are a few good dialogue moments, but very few indeed.
The story is utterly predictable and might have been better suited to TV One on a Sunday night. If it had been, I would have changed channels! Our average score - 3 stars, and this is very generous.