A fourth pairing for Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder (after The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, A Scanner Darkly and Bram Stoker’s Dracula), Destination Wedding takes as its premise the notion that two mutually hostile strangers could meet at a friend’s nuptials and fall in love. It’s an age-old, often pleasing romcom trope, but in this instance said strangers — Frank (Reeves) and Lindsay (Ryder) — are so aggressively unpleasant, it’s difficult to feel any empathy or goodwill.
Immediately falling out in an absurd scene at an airport gate which makes little sense — in short, Ryder’s Lindsay believes Reeves’ Frank is trying to queue-jump, but given there is but a handful of passengers, and there is little evidence that he is, it all feels heavily contrived — their relationship brings to mind a clutch and engine plate that will never find the biting point, and lurches on throughout the film accordingly.
RSVP with a no.
Add to that a sense of humour that is defined by meanness and sneer — “Can’t help but hope Keith tears a hip muscle” offers Frank about the innocuous groom at whose wedding he is a guest — a toe-curlingly cringy sex scene which lasts minutes masquerading as hours, and dialogue that rarely rings true, and what you have is a dearth of rom or com.
It’s a shame, as writer/director Victor Levin (a veteran of TV hits like Mad Men and Mad About You) initially has some fun, relatable things to say about the mild hysteria surrounding weddings and the demands they make on invitees, but unfortunately this element soon peters out in favour of the unremitting company of our unsociable heroes and their leaden banter. RSVP with a no.