Review: Keanu Reeves & Winona Ryder Trade Barbs In Rom-Com DESTINATION WEDDING

3 out of 5 stars

A sort of anti-romantic comedy, Destination Wedding is a snide, well written independent comedy with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as Frank and Lindsay, two strangers who meet on their way to a wedding in California’s wine region. She’s the ex-girlfriend of the groom and he’s his brother. They antagonise each other from the very start but a series of coincidences means that they have to spend all their time together. Will they? Won’t they? You can probably guess, but as they say – ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey’. 

Shot in an unfussy fashion by cinematographer Giorgio Scali, with a jaunty score by William Ross, writer-director Victor Levin’s film is an enjoyable enough piece of frothy fluff which doesn’t outstay its welcome. Running a slender 85 minutes, Destination Wedding cruises along on the charm of its two leads. Looking like it was shot on a ten day break between John Wick sequels and seasons of Stranger Things, this dry comedy works because Reeves and Ryder understand the tone of the film and know how to cleverly deliver the dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, they’re the only people in the film with any (and they have a lot of it). The fact that Reeves and Ryder fail to interact with any other characters makes the film a little claustrophobic and constricting, despite the bright and colourful visuals.  If you have an aversion to one or both of these actors then it’s safe to assume that Destination Wedding is not for you.

Destination Wedding (or Destination Wedding, or A Narcissist Can’t Die Because Then the Entire World Would End to give the film its full title) could have been a cheesy 1990s nostalgia piece which cruises by on seeing Reeves and Ryder re-team for the fourth time following Bram Stoker’s Dracula, A Scanner Darkly and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. I’m sure that audiences would have been very happy with that, but at least this has some bite to it.

An enjoyable enough 85 minutes which has a certain amount of sparkle, this comedy of two people who hate the world has ample charm but little in the way of story. Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder make for an enjoyable onscreen couple and its fun to watch them trade barbs and caustic comments. They nail the delivery, helping make Destination Wedding an old fashioned movie with (dare I say it) old fashioned movie stars. 

Destination Wedding is out on digital download 21 June and on DVD 1 July.

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