First, a few interesting pieces of information: As a first feature-length film from co-writers and directors Michael Canzoniero and Marco Ricci, "Wedding Bros." originally screened at various movie festivals under the title "The Marconi Bros." After some time not getting picked up by a theatrical distributor, in 2009 the movie got what is essentially its world première on DVD. Then, too, the catch line on the keep case intrigued me; it reads "The Original Crashers," an obvious reference to "Wedding Crashers," the much more successful film with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Ah, the vicissitudes of the movie business. One film flourishes, while another falls into obscurity. Was "Wedding Crashers" that much better a film? Well, yes, but that's beside the point. The real point is why the keep case and disc art for "Wedding Bros." fail to put a period after "Bros.," even though it's right there on the title screen.
One can easily understand why no major theatrical distributor wanted to take a chance on the film. It's ostensibly a comedy, but there are no worthy laughs, and then the film turns a little serious about halfway through, without any worthy drama. The fact is, it's a lackluster, tiresome film.
The plot concerns a pair of brothers, presumably based on the co-writers and directors themselves. The brothers in the picture couldn't be more different. One, the fool, is Carmine Marconi (Dan Folger), a part-time stoner and full-time idiot. The other, the straight man of the duo, is Anthony Marconi (Brendan Sexton III), a recent college graduate in marketing. Basically, Carmine keeps screwing things up, which becomes frustrating to the viewer, and Anthony keeps getting on his case, which becomes annoying to everyone. Take your choice: One brother is a moron and the other is a pill.
As the story begins, the brothers are working for their father in the family carpet business. But they yearn for more than tacking down carpet all day. Of course, between their constant juvenile roughhousing and lighting up, it's a wonder they get any work done at all.
Fifteen minutes in: No laughs, no smiles.
Then they meet Lou Burns (Jon Polito, doing his best Danny DeVito imitation), a prosperous wedding videographer. For reasons unknown, Burns offers the guys a job assisting him with a couple of big weddings. Big mistake.
Thirty minutes in: No laughs, no smiles.
Polito carries the show with his blustering and bullying, but it's not enough to save anything. It's just loud. His horny ex-wife (Patti D'Arbanville) is a still photographer who shows up at the same weddings Lou covers, yet the script makes virtually nothing of this. Why is she here?
Forty minutes in: The movie begins to get serious as Anthony falls for the still photographer's pretty assistant (Zoe Lister-Jones). Not that there was any humor in the first forty minutes, so it's hard to tell. The characters all refer to the pretty assistant as "Trixie" until the end of the film when suddenly they call her "Lauren." Makes as much sense as anything else.
Fifty minutes in: Still no laughs, no smiles, and no drama.
By the three-quarters point, we realize that not only are we not going to get any laughs, we are not going to get any plot, either, just a series of incidents relating to the brothers goofing up each assignment the boss gives them. What's more, there is virtually no characterization in the story, just a couple of goofballs and a bellowing boss. And there is virtually nothing else in the movie worth discussing: The cinematography is repetitive, the costumes are nondescript, the dialogue is mundane, the pacing is leaden, and the jokes are nonexistent. The film is not funny or silly or screwy or madcap or witty or sardonic or satiric. It's just dull.
Yet for all its vacuity, "Wedding Bros." has a certain small (very small) degree of charm. We don't really dislike the brothers any more than they dislike each other, and the film ends on a sweet note of family affection and brotherly bonding.
Seventy minutes in: The brothers punch each other out in the back of a van. All's well that ends.
Screen Media Films present the movie in its native screen ratio, 1.85:1, in an anamorphic transfer enhanced for widescreen TVs. According to IMDb, the filmmakers saved money by shooting the movie with a handheld 16 mm camera. Although the results are not going to wow the videophile crowd, they are surprisingly good, given the source. Upscaled, the DVD image looks a little dark, with some evidence of grain and noise, making it a bit rough around the edges, yet it's nicely contrasted, with strong black levels and fairly rich colors.
I wish I could say as much for the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio as I did for the video, but no such luck. There's a little musical bloom in the surrounds; otherwise, you'll hear a limited stereo spread across the front channels, with a center-speaker orientation. Worse, the overall sound reproduction often seems veiled, with little sparkle, little dynamic range, and little bass.
Not surprisingly, there isn't much here. We get an audio commentary with co-writers and directors Marco Ricci and Michael Canzoniero and producer David Bolton. They explain that their own experiences in the carpet and video businesses inspired much of the film's action. Beyond that, they keep up a constant flow of patter that is generally more interesting than the feature film. Then, there is an extended version of a commercial in the movie; twelve scene selections; a few trailers at start-up; English as the only spoken language; and English captions.
The best one can say about "Wedding Bros." is that it's largely inoffensive. The R rating it carries covers a few profanities and a couple of brief sexual situations. So at least the viewer doesn't have to worry overmuch about gross-out gags or continual smutty humor. The movie is just flat and tedious, which is maybe an even worse transgression in terms of selling it to potential audiences.