Originally titled, The Marconi Brothers,it has been retitled in what looks to be an attempt to leech off of the success of Wedding Crashers years after the fact (the DVD case even sports the tagline “The Original Crashers.” Whatever the title truly is, this film is about a pair of brothers who stumble from the mediocrity of being heirs to an independent, family-run carpet installing business to the mediocrity of video-taping weddings for a living. Such low ambitions in our protagonists breed boring results in this clunky comedy.
This 83 minutes of half-baked gags was amateurishly written and directed by cousins, Michael Canzoniero and Marco Rossi, based on their own experiences. This film is plagued by very strange shot choices that often cut off characters heads for no good reason, or frame the characters incorrectly so the audience is not sure who we are supposed to focus on or even know who is speaking. Coupled with the odd shot choices, we frequently get disjointed cuts which make it even harder to focus on the action. Some of the jokes in this film might have even succeeded if they could simply tone down the editing and let the scene work for itself without trying to dazzle us with unique camera angles. The one clever bit to the editing is the use of cheesy wipes (think “star wipe”) between scenes to make the film appear like one of the lame wedding videos our heroes are making, which makes me wonder if the odd shots is in reference to that. This might be terribly clever but the fact that it is rampant throughout the film causes more annoyance than a clever gag should warrant, and so I abandon my theory that the directors are in on the gag and instead decide that the creators did not trust their own script enough so they worked harder to make their directing seem more creative than it really is to compensate.
Dan Fogler is the star of the film, and another victim of both a bad script and bad editing. Every single shot he is in, he is at maximum goofiness and comes off as a weak John Belushi clone (yet another heavy comedian to be judged as such). His antics are immature, annoying and add nothing to the comedy, nevermind saving it.
I’ll spare critising the tacked on romance story at any length as I have already spent more words than this delfated, laughless romp is worth.
Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1. Decently clean looking. Could be a pinch crisper but if you’ve read this far into the review then you’ll know that an okay picture will not be the primary subject for trouble or nit-picking.
Dolby Digital Surround 5.1. The sound can be fine but there is sometimes an odd mix to the dialogue. Some voices fade and/or overlap others and lines become completely lost. This is not in the Robert Altman style that can be appreciated because there’s always nuggets to dig up in return viewings. The lost dialogue here makes things that much more aggravating as you get the feeling that what being said is not crucial and yet you are trying that much harder to hear it, regardless of its futility. This could be more of a problem for those not listening on a surround system. If you have a mono television or even stereo, you’ll be losing parts.
Aside from all that noise, the sounds and music are decently balanced.
Commentary: Made by the writing/directing team as well as the producer. They reminisce about film school (where they met) and offer praise to Fogler for his improvising stills and how he would come up with funnier moments than what was written which, I’m sorry, simply makes me wonder how bad the original material must have been. The majority of their comments are more praise for the sets they scored through connections, which is all fine and dandy but its really just another think I could not care about.
Extended Scene: This is a parody ad for the Marconi’s main carpet competition and it is actually very entertaining! The best part of the dvd and film, and it is left on the cutting room floor (or at least, downsized to the point where you cannot appreciate it). This truly captures the often manic cheesiness that is American, daytime, local advertising.
There is simply is not enough in this film to grab my attention, which makes the madcap hijinx at the climax completely fruitless as nothing could revive my hope at that point. I got the same feeling from this film that I had watching many terrible student films while in film school myself. I knew these films were bad, but I felt positive knowing that is was a learning experience, and the next product should be better. The difference, is this has a wide release with a budget and even some minimal star-power behind it. A lot more lessons should have been learned for these two filmmakers before ever getting to this level (as relatively low as it still is).