Second Hand Wedding
July 27, 2010
Every now and again comes a film that is aimed towards the semi-peculiar target audience of mother/daughter duos and, after taking my own dear mother along to the Astor for Sunday morning’s KEA (Kiwi Ex-Pats Abroad)/Salvation Army/Potential Films screening, I have to say that Second Hand Wedding (2008) is one such film. You could be forgiven for thinking that the film is about a couple getting married (after all, the title does include the word “wedding”), but actually it is an endearing feel-good flick about the sometimes strained, no matter how strong, relationship that seems to exist (in a populist sense at least) between mothers and daughters.
When Cheryl’s boyfriend Stew finally pops the question, her happiness is put on hold after she entertains the idea of telling her entirely too enthusiastic mother who has incidentally been scouring garage sales for years collecting crass second-hand items (including particularly tacky miniature garden gnome place settings), for her only daughter’s much-anticipated “big day”. Forcing her fiance, father and friends to keep schtum about it until she is melodramatically “ready”, her mother Jill unwittingly finds out about both the engagement and Cheryl’s embarrassment at her mother’s bargain basement booty (of course) from an arch nemesis style work colleague. What ensues is the necessary breakdown of mother/daughter relationship followed in quick succession by its antithetical rebuilding.
Although this film is aimed towards mother/daughter duos in the first instance, it does transcend this boundary somewhat in its entirely humanist and enjoyably good-humoured approach. It manages on occasion to situate itself slightly left of field so as to avoid becoming an otherwise all too standard sentimental genre film. The premise is less interesting than its execution and the performances are suitably strong making this indie popcorn flick an entertaining romp but not a whole lot more.