You May Not Kiss the Bride


Tia Carerre

2011 Sonoma International Film Festival

Photo: Copyright 2011 Atalanta Visions. All rights reserved.

Sneak Preview

Sonoma International Film Festival


Festival Program Director Cevin Cathell introduced "You May Not Kiss the Bride" as not the usual fare of the Sonoma International Film Festival, but she admits that while she was screening the film she laughed so hard she had to find a way to fit it in.  I agree.  Director and Screenwriter Rob Hedden has worked the screwball comedy formula well enough to produce an irresistible "guilty pleasure".


This is the story of a young pet photographer played by Dave Annable who accidentally comes to the attention of a Croatian crime boss in need of someone to marry his daughter so she can remain in the U.S.  After some mob-style coercion, Annabel gives in and promises not to get intimate with the bride, but she proves to be irresistible.  When on their tropical honeymoon the bride is kidnapped, Annabel comes to her rescue and wins her over. 


Annabel gives a great performance as the photographer. He reminds me of a more restrained young Jim Carrey with considerable potential for future leads in romantic comedies.


Katherine McPhee is the daughter of the crime boss.  Of course, she is more beautiful and interesting than Annabel anticipates, and she does a fine job of portraying the nice girl who captures the heart of her involuntary groom.


Mena Suvari gives a decent comic performance as the femme fatale photographic assistant who sets her sights on Annabel and refuses to take "no" for an answer.  She looks great in a swimsuit and has some kittenish fun and outrageous moments.


Tia Carerre plays the waitress with a heart of gold who helps save their lives and, incidentally, the marriage. 


Kathy Bates gives a predictable but very funny performance as Annabel's mother.


Rob Schneider is fall down funny as Ernesto, the jack of all trades who, of course, is both the problem and the solution.  The deadpan delivery of outrageous lines and deft physical comedy that have served Schneider so well in other roles also works well for him here.  Sometimes Schneider is so marvelously sleazy you can't take your eyes off of him.


It may be difficult to recognize Ken Davitian of "Borat" infamy because he does not take off his clothes.  Davitian plays the patriarch of the Croatian crime family.


I viewed what I hope is not the final draft as the film could use one more pass through editing to easily shave off 10 or more minutes to perfect the pacing and comic timing (screwball comedy done right is a wonderful thing!) A funny storyline, a good comic cast, and great sight gags make "You May Not Kiss the Bride" a shining example of the genre, with only a few more tweaks. Here's hoping an American distributor will pick it up soon so more can partake.


I rate "You May Not Kiss the Bride" two out of 4 cappuccinos and a warm up.


What did you think of this article?

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  • 5/21/2011 12:14 PM Tara wrote:
    The Writer's/Director's name is Rob Hedden, not Dave Hedden.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/21/2011 12:49 PM The Film Dilettante wrote:
      Correction made. Thank you for staying in touch.

      The Film Dilettante
      Reply to this
  • 5/24/2011 11:38 PM Justin wrote:
    Since we're like, never going to see this movie, can you, for the fun of it, just give us the details? Specifically for Katharine McPhee? What kinds of things did she do? Was she funny? What were some of her lines, actions, etc. What other cast members did she interact with? Thannnnnks.....
    Reply to this
    1. 5/26/2011 9:32 AM The Film Dilettante wrote:

      It really would be too bad if this film does not get U.S. distribution.  As for Ms. McPhee, her role called for an actress with the versatility to move from nice girl to seductress to femme fatale and finally to a heroine, and McPhee delivers. Her comic timing fit the role, but the real comic foil for McPhee was Mena Suvari who played the naughty girl --- the polar opposite of McPhee's character.  McPhee has nice chemistry with her leading man Dave Annabel, and she looks suitably like the beauty next to the beast in her scenes with the henchman.  She has an animated, expressive face which is especially appealing for romantic comedy casting. All in all, I would say Ms. McPhee is refreshing and can certainly hold her own among current candidates for romantic comedy ingenues and female leads in both sex appeal and talent.

      Hope this is helpful.

      Reply to this
  • 5/29/2012 8:54 PM Taylor wrote:
    Why can I not find this movie anywhere in the U.S.? I can't even find it on Amazon! I REALLY want to see this movie. Was there a problem with the distribution of this movie?
    Reply to this
    1. 5/31/2012 7:55 PM The Film Dilettante wrote:
      Thank you for your comment Taylor. "You May Not Kiss The Bride" is scheduled to make its DVD premiere in Sweden on June 20, 2012. Hopefully, we will see broader distribution soon. -- FD
      Reply to this
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