Children's storybook writer Sam Davis (Michael Angarano) is heartbroken. The little guy is still completely and absolutely in love with Zoe (Uma Thurman)-- but Zoe is about to get married to Whit, a megalomaniac British documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace). Bent on stealing her back, Sam drags his best friend Marshall (Reece Thompson) to a trip down Whit's elegant beachside miniature castle to ruin Zoe's wedding-- but keeping his motive a secret from Marshall.
So, will Zoe change her mind and leave Whit for the "good guy"?
Directed and written by Mark Winkler, Ceremony is a talkative film brimming with wit and playfulness. The main characters are well-written, their quirks and personalities hilariously transparent, and the dynamics between them feels raw and natural. Also, Winkler filled the screenplay with plenty of background characters, which added more spice and playfulness, giving us a richer and wittier comedic experience. There's a lot of talk and a lot of stuff happening in every scene, that Winkler obviously put a lot of heart in the details.
|Does this filmmaker know that Sam is out to steal his fiancee?|
Set in breathtaking locations, from Whit's mansion to the barren beach and the meadows, to the distant lush forest, the movie all the more brings forth our protagonist's romanticism and crushing sadness. Angarano, who you will remember as the kid in the TV sitcom Will and Grace, brought hilarious life to his sad character, fitting as the romantic, selfish, and emotionally intense Sam Davis, earning our sympathy. And together with Marshall, his submissive, innocent best friend, the humor becomes even more a riot. My only complaint is the soundtrack, which downplays the emotional scenes. But because the writing is very good, the emotions are still palpable.
Overall, Ceremony, an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, is an intelligently written comedy with a heart. It's a character-driven story, a poetic and witty motormouth, and it also touches on human weakness...and moves us with the basic fundamental truths about love and relationships.
Even if you don't like looking at Uma Thurman like me, you'll love this romantic-comedy.
4 out of 5 stars