By: Addison Wylie
Barn Wedding seems like it was conceived by hopeful actors supporting a “let’s put on a show” credence. Unfortunately, when things start to get interesting, Shaun Benson’s directorial debut is a day late and a dollar short when the stakes are raised.
The performances in Barn Wedding are sensible portrayals of drifters who are faithful to their friends. They unite for a wedding, but the group grows suspicious about the intentions behind the wedding when they witness the stumbling set-up which is out-of-character for the bride-to-be (Jaquie played by Lara Jean Chorostecki).
Kelly McCormack (who plays Jessie) wrote Barn Wedding and she draws observant pokes at aging hipsters, girl power, and wedding preparation-slash-obsessing. However, I do wonder how much of the film was improvised given that most of the actors seem to be biting their lips during overly generous takes.
Most of the time, Barn Wedding seems to be driving on auto pilot while evoking memories of better reunion movies. That said, Benson and McCormack utilize a conclusion that feels very real. The final knockout may arrive too late, but it provides evidence that Benson and McCormack have confident voices when taking the road less traveled.
Barn Wedding screens at Toronto’s Canadian Film Festival on Friday, March 27 at 9:30 pm at The Royal Cinema.
Canadian Film Festival ’15 Coverage: