User Reviews (16)

  • Donald Walkinshaw5 June 2002
    Three Vancouver couples watch their relationships crumble in both hilarious and devastating fashion.
    Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding is a hilarious but flawed look at three couples whose marriages all fall apart. This is the reverse of a romantic comedy. The comedy is there all right, but there are only fleeting glances at any thing that could be called romance. The film starts just before the wedding of Noah and Zipporah, the last of the three couples to tie the noose - I mean knot. From that point on, it's all downhill, as we watch how these three relationships crumple in a pile of miscommunication, and infidelity. Some of the moments in this movie are uproariously funny, but there is too much sadness in between. That is really the only flaw - the slow pace. But the acting is sensational, and there are many memorable moments - both of which definitely overshadow the pacing problems.
  • Adrian818 October 2001
    6/10
    City of Glass People: Bruce Sweeney's Vancouver
    Warning: Spoilers
    *I don't think this contains spoilers, but it is pretty involved and so may reveal aspects of the plot that you would rather have surprise you. If you'd rather go in to the film without preconceptions, don't read on.*

    Apparently, Last Wedding received critical acclaim for its strong character development, its taut atmosphere, its remarkable dialogue, and its portrayal of Vancouver as Vancouver (a novel idea, considering the plethora of appalling Hollywood films that routinely convert the city into San Francisco, Los Angeles, or even Hong Kong). Despite good acting and attentive, often beautiful cinematography, however, Last Wedding is a hollow, almost nonsensical study of the banal dysfunction of urban social life. Did I mention that it's a comedy? The film is generally funny, especially in the first half, and pleasing in its visual familiarity (So very Vancouver, and there is a Winnipeg Jets cap, and a quintessential trip to the cabin to fish . . . ).

    But:

    Character development is irritatingly imbalanced. This may be because the film was shot over three consecutive summers and so fell victim to the intermittent availability of actors and crew. Under these circumstances balance and continuity must be challenging to attain, and the film suffers as a result. Of the three couples represented, only one is explored enough to lead the audience across the rickety bridge between motivation and action. Sarah, played beautifully by Molly Parker, is an ambitious young architect who lands her dream job fresh out of university despite a slump in the market, and who must struggle with her idealistic spouse's resentment of both her success and her ethical and aesthetic perspectives regarding architecture. The scenes involving this couple are brilliantly executed, and appear (uniquely) topically rooted in Vancouver's identity. The other two couples are another story. One is ploddingly two-dimensional: Randy English Professor cheats on Luddite Librarian Live-In with Ambitious Sexpot Student. From a narrative perspective at the very least, this subplot climaxes prematurely. The third couple's story is utter nonsense, and seems to have been included only as an ill-advised attempt at comic relief. The wedding of the title is that of Noah and Zipporah (actually, the title is a reference to the wedding before theirs, but to theirs by inference. Don't ask, it seems like an arbitrary titling decision. No surprise, really). Noah works in waterproofing supplies and lives in Zipporah's obligatorily leaky condo. Vancouverites should know what I mean when I say this is dime-store irony. Zipporah is a beautiful, sensual fashion plate with delusions of becoming a country music icon. Nothing about them, from their tense initial interactions through their rushed wedding and the arbitrary deterioration of their sanity and their relationship, makes anything approaching sense. We laugh at Zipporah and Noah, not with them, and only because we're expected to.

    In all these cases, the only dubious trait shared by the characters is their inability to interact functionally with one another. And why can't they? They are, at any given point, selfish, thick-witted, spiteful, and actually insane. I found empathy for the characters unattainable, as they lacked emotional depth and the motivations for their actions and statements were inadequately explored. This could in fact set up an interesting motive for the location of Last Wedding. The city of Vancouver is often characterized as beautiful but new and soulless, without history or personality - in Douglas Coupland's words, a city of glass (and maybe this isn't how Doug meant it, but it works). Perhaps that is the link between the setting and the characters in Last Wedding. Bruce Sweeney's characters are people of glass, by turns transparent, brittle, distant. Unfortunately, this representation is so haphazard and incongruous that it fails to make its purpose clear to the viewer. Perhaps it wasn't intended at all?

    Last Wedding is an awkward, senseless collage of humour, depraved selfishness, and Vancouverism. Make of that what you will.
  • Enid-328 October 2001
    8/10
    Enjoyable and believable story in a Canadian setting
    This is an amusing and believable story about three young couples who are not particularly well suited to each other. They all discover this, but one couple has to get married to find this out. The film is set in Vancouver, which, for once, is not dressed up to be some American city. It was nice to see Canadian references, such as Canada Council grants and the Cambie Street Bridge. The film is very funny in a low keyed, unhysterical, thoroughly Canadian way.
  • vera_upr15 October 2005
    8/10
    It sure is realistic (spoilers)
    Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this film last night. I liked it very much. 'Last Wedding' tells the story of the three couples and the problems they confront. The problems, all serious, range from miscommunication, physical and emotional abuse, professional conflicts to cheating. But I have to say that some people seem to be confused by the title of the film and think that all the main characters are married. That is not the case. As a matter of fact, only one of the couples is married. The other two live together.

    The main reason why I decided to write about this film is that I was really surprised for one or two of comments I've read here. The main couple, the one we met since the start of the film, and the one that gets married, is the protagonist of a real messy relationship. After only six months of meeting each other, Noah (Benjamin Ratner) and Zipporah (Frida Betrani) decide to get married. They do it but things don't go well since the beginning. Noah doesn't know it but her wife wants to make it as a professional singer but apparently she doesn't have enough talent. So, she stays home with nothing more to do than watch TV. She doesn't confide in her husband whom she doesn't even let enter to her music room. Noah, on her part, is falling apart. He always had doubts about the wedding but he kept it going. But, after the wedding, he's devastated. His wife won't talk to him. And then the violence comes. In one very poignant scene, the telephone rings, Noah asks Zipporah to answer it, she ignores him even though she has the phone at her side. Noah loses it and breaks one of the ceramic horses figures that Zipporah collects. How does she reacts? She takes the phone and hits one of Noah's ears with it. It wasn't the first time we saw a violent Zipporah but until that point we've never seen her actually hitting her husband. After that, Noah tries to discuss her relationship with Zipporah but she refuses. She thinks everything is all right. One particular interesting detail is that all the times Zipporah realizes she has messed it up, she tries to seduce Noah. At the beginning of their relationship, that would work. Zipporah would lose it and then have incredible sex with Noah and things would go back to normal. But of course , that wouldn't work forever. Noah gives it up and takes every opportunity he has to humiliate Zipporah for her singing skills (she hits him again after that one) and her lack of formal preparation. So, to sum it up, this couple's relationship terribly SUCKS.

    I decided to write so much about Noah and Zipporah because some people here have written that this couple was the funniest one. But I am sure that if instead of Zipporah, Noah would've been the one who physically abused his wife, nobody would dare to say that it was funny. Oh, yeah, this husband hits her wife, develops an abusive relationship with her, and every time he does hit her, he brings flowers... oh, yeah, VERY funny. No, it isn't. Hey, I know this movie is supposed to be a comedy and it is, but I can't accept that what it makes it funny is a gender bias. Men cannot be abused. If they are, it's funny. No, it's not funny. I felt bad not only for Noah but also for Zipporah.

    The other two couples face difficult problems also. College professor Peter (Tom Scholte) cheats on Leslie (Nancy Sivak) with a student. Arquitect Shane (Vincent Gale) seems unable to cope with his girlfriend Sarah's (Molly Parkers)sudden success. We don't get to explore these two couples very much. For example, I was confused with what were the real roots of Shane's discomfort. Was it because he was experiencing professional jealousy of his girlfriend? Or was it because they had really different perspectives of how architects should work? Anyway, the lack of information doesn't stop us from getting their conflicts.

    The main asset of this film is that it rings real. Watching the film makes you promise not to make the same mistakes of the characters. "Get to know each other well before marriage" "Listen to each other" "Don't cheat" "Respect each other's interests" are some of the tips.
  • musicbones7 September 2001
    9/10
    an endearing treat
    Last Wedding is a slow moving heart warmer. Three men in a tub: rub-a-dub-dub. The movie is about how they messed up with the loves of their lives, but it isn't painful in the least. You'll laugh all the way through. The acting is draws you in, so you are fascinated by these real life characters. Your heart goes out to them, despite their glaring faults. The directing is expert. The editing and camera angles play up the slow building drama to the max. If there is a fault, it is the lack of a powerful dramatic arc. However, some would call that refreshing. The lack of "special effects" was fine, too. There was no shortage of lasting lovable memories.
  • bethster200020 February 2006
    1/10
    The Worst Film I Have Ever Seen, Bar None
    Warning: Spoilers
    And I have sat through Shanghai Surprise, so that's saying a lot.

    Who on God's earth would find something like this amusing? It is, on one hand, your garden-variety "men are such children, and women are shrews" "urban" comedies that get rammed down our collective throats every day.

    On the other hand, what makes this movie unusual is that none of the characters, especially the male ones, have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. NONE whatsoever. I could really care less about the young architect with her jealous prick boyfriend who is so loving toward her, he makes her life miserable simply because she is a success. I found myself channel surfing during their parts. Then there is the obligatory story of an English professor throwing away a perfectly good relationship to setup a pert young no-nothing with firm tits, no morals, and no expectations. It's your typical nauseating story of some supposedly educated man lapping up whatever drivel Young Student spews because he wants in her pants; she actually writes a "poem" that seems more like a contribution to The Penthouse Letters, and the entranced doofus academic behaves as if she is Chaucer and the Bard rolled into a skanky blonde package. Predictably, he screws the student, the girlfriend finds out, and she kicks him out of their home. And of course, he is miserable, realizing (as much as a mongoloid is capable of realizing) that he threw away a good woman for an easy, meaningless screw. YAWN. Didn't we see Woody Allen do this a hundred times, and only better? My most scathing comments are for the third couple, Zipporah and Noah. I cannot understand why anyone would find the antics of Noah humorous, laughable, or even tolerable. Zipporah is an annoying spoiled yenta, yes. Noah, however, is an insufferable rat mistaken for a human being, the most loathsome character I have ever seen on my television screen. He is rude, he is condescending, he is obnoxious, he is physically extremely unappealing, and he is verbally and physically abusive. In one "comedic" scene, The Happy Lovers are not speaking...again. Noah decides to communicate with his wife by taking a hammer and smashing one of her beloved horse figurines to bits. That's not funny; that's emotional abuse. Then there is the wacky instance when Noah decides to refer to his wife as a "half wit." He humiliates his wife in front of his mongoloid, miserable friends, first by belittling her choice of apparel (she looks great) and then by treating her like the ignorant hired help. He belittles her ambitions of being a singer, first by sneaking around behind her back, violating her privacy by vandalizing her music room; second by actually making fun of his wife's music by singing it in an off-key country twang. This is comedy? I used to work in the homicide bureau of the local county prosecutor, and I can tell you this: it's emotional abuse like this that gets spouses shot. Poor Noah is so miserable (you get the feeling that this rodent masquerading as a man doesn't need a beautiful young wife to make him miserable; he's just a dismal excuse for a human being), he is leaving his wife on the sly. Because he lacks gumption, a polite way of saying He Has No Balls, he sneakily packs his bag while Zipporah is asleep. When she awakens, he flees the house. When she finds the packed bag and confronts him, he drives off and hides like a sissy girl...that is, after he emotionally torments his wife by stopping as if to start a conversation with her, only to burn rubber, driving away, when she walks to his car window. This is funny? No, this is at the very least the grounds for divorce. The very last scene we see of this happy couple is when Zipporah finds her rat spouse cornered, as if in a trap, in a seedy hotel room. Noah wasn't even man enough to answer the door when she found him, so she takes matters into her own hands in the form of a tire iron, which she uses to smash the window. The only way that this film could have redeemed itself is if Zipporah took the logical next step with that iron and killed the sniveling, abusive, repulsive rat.
  • pinstripe7 May 2003
    Intense and witty, a sheer punch.
    If the British Columbia film industry has any doubts, I'd say that Last Wedding is a good reason to realize we're moving in the right direction. Director Bruce Sweeney brings his own script to life with a cast of fairly unknown actors [something I find refreshing from the blockbuster Hollywood-isms of today's movie scene.] The story details not only the lives of Noah and Zipporah, a new couple to be wed, but also gives the accounts of two related couples, and the suffering and activities which take them through the course of the film.

    The actual depth explored isn't uncannily dynamic, but the topic matter, though tired and constantly overdone, is not forced here. The lives and events in Last Wedding are realistic, and not over-dramatized, but sometimes come off as a little awry. The main point, though, is that they are humourous, and that is all which seems to matter in this film.

    Last Wedding ends rather abruptly, but it didn't really bother me. I had seen all I needed to, and if the film went on, it may have turned a little cliche. I think the BC Industry gets props here, and certainly proves point that you don't need big names for an interesting and fun film.
  • memyselfmostly6 August 2016
    10/10
    Last Wedding
    Mojo needs to review the 'very excellent movie, 'Last Wedding.

    God, it's a great film.

    'the opening scene and the ending scene--are the best and 'everything in-between makes the opening and ending scenes 100% 'sit there in your chair, sofa, cot, bed.... 'whatever, 'enveloped in the impression of the movie as though one's been stamped with an iron 'rubber stamp!!!!: 'and, you can't move to 'turn off the television 'for 'several moments (minutes).....

    'it's that great of a movie, but ya 'have to 'watch 'the 'whole movie 'to absorb the introduction and the final scene. It's some of the best writing I've 'ever (ever) seen (I'm a writer--and, when I watch a movie, I 'mentally 'rewrite the 'ending scene. 'this movie is so 'great, no one can 'write a better 'ending!!!! NO ONE! 'absolutely no one!!!!!!)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0256871/

    'this was a very 'under-rated movie......

    'great acting. 'great 'story line.

    Obscene 'reality.

    MOJO! Get on it and 'notify me 'when you've reviewed it!!!!!!
  • Python Hyena15 September 2015
    8/10
    First Wedding.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Last Wedding (2001): Dir: Bruce Sweeney / Cast: Benjamin Ratner, Tom Scholte, Vincent Gale, Molly Parker, Frida Betrani: Independent film about the last fling of freedom for three males. Benjamin Ratner and Frida Betrani get engaged but he discovers that her ambition is in country music, which she is a failure at. Tom Scholte and Nancy Sivak have problems when he has an affair with one of his literary students. Vincent Gale and Molly Parker are both architects but when she receives a big career break he isn't supportive. This is an interesting study of relationships gone wrong, which unfortunately ends in tragedy. Directed by Bruce Sweeney with a documentary appeal as if observing these relationships. Acting is top notch as it examines the three males and their relationships hopes and ultimate failures, all done with great comic touches. Ratner knows that his wife's love for music isn't doubled as a talent but can he break this to her? Scholte heads straight for trouble when embarking in an affair, which his wife will learn thus leaving him to ponder his reasoning. Gale is threatened by tradition when the thought of his wife being a bigger cash earner. Molly Parker is a great new edition to Sweeney's ensemble. It is film about expectations when it comes to relationships and despite its negative view it certainly hits the point home. Score: 8 / 10
  • rsplace30 August 2007
    1/10
    No connection with the characters at all
    Despite the fact I volunteered for 2 weeks on this shoot in some rather sweltering Vancouver weather and that none of the volunteers was invited to the Vancouver premiere and that I actually paid money to rent this title and that not one of the volunteers was ever mentioned in the credits...the movie was yet another awful example of why Canadian cinema continues to fail.

    I had no sympathy or connection with any of the characters in this film. The dialogue was trite and vacuous. The acting did nothing to correct this. And Molly Parker's performances continue to be flatter than a pre-Columbus Earth.

    A complete waste of film stock.
  • wonderdawg13 October 2009
    Is Bruce Sweeney Vancouver's Answer to Woody Allen?
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Noah! Open this (bleeping) door!" Bang! Bang! Bang! "I just want to talk!" The sound of her fists against the door echo through the courtyard like small arms fire.

    Cowering inside the motel room Noah (Ben Ratner) can only hope Zipporah (Frida Betrani) will go away if he remains absolutely still. No such luck. Peering through the drapes he watches in horror as she walks back from her car with a tire jack in one hand and fire in her eye.

    Obviously this marriage is in trouble. It began so well, too, with Noah, a salesman for a waterproofing company and Zipporah, an aspiring (and, unfortunately for her, supremely untalented) country singer, gazing into each other's eyes while the rabbi pronounced them man and wife. A few months later the marriage has sprung more leaks than the condo they share in metro Vancouver.

    Noah's buddies are heading for problems as well. Can Lit prof Peter (Tom Scholte) is cheating on his sedate librarian wife Leslie (Nancy Sivak) with provocative young student Laurel (Marya Delver). Struggling architect Shane (Vincent Gale) feels threatened because his newly graduated girlfriend, Sarah (Molly Parker), also an architect, has landed a job with a high profile firm.

    Hip, literate and darkly funny, this 2001 entry is the third film from Vancouver writer/director Bruce Sweeney.

    Sweeney uses the predicaments of his characters to show how relationships among today's affluent young urbanites can crumble under the stress and pressure of modern life, especially if they are not built on a strong foundation to begin with. Lack of communication, sexual betrayal, career envy, Sweeney dissects them all with savage wit and savvy insight. The director allows his cast ample freedom to explore and develop their roles and he is repaid with characters which behave as if they were modelled on real people rather than broadly drawn stereotypes. Parker and Gale won Genie Awards (the Canadian Oscars). However, the whole cast is worthy of merit with Betrani a force of nature as frustrated country singer Zipporah. (With her temperament perhaps she should have considered a career in heavy metal instead.)

    This is one of those rare movies in which Vancouver gets a chance to play itself. The dialogue is peppered with local references (the Cambie St. bridge, the old Expo 86 site, provincial politics). What Woody Allen does for New York Sweeney does for Vancouver. Twenty years in B.C. have given the Sarnia, Ontario native a feel for the quirky vibe of West Coast life (The movie also resembles an Allen film in the depiction of its male characters as vain, indecisive wimps who bend like willows in the wind while trying to hold their own with strong, purposeful women.)

    Last Wedding is full of randy humour and a decidedly unromantic view of sex. The scene in which Laurel and Peter discuss Canadian authors while engaged in a dispassionate sexual act is rumoured to be a favourite in certain academic circles.
  • davewrites23 October 2001
    8/10
    The perfect un-date movie.
    Within the genre of romantic comedies, Last Wedding stands out from the rest of the pack. It is a slightly absurd (yet very honest) portrayal of how relationships are, and how they can fail. Whether it's with hasty commitment, selfishness, or a flagrant lack of healthy communication, Last Wedding proves that our own, below-Hollywood-standard relationships cannot be ignored and that they deserve some sort of cinematic representation. Thank you Bruce Sweeney for bringing a dose of romantic realism back to the film industry. I don't know how you do it, but you turn the silver screen into a gigantic mirror for a captivating 101 minutes. You allow us the opportunity to relive our personal dating history with your own colourful brand of constructive criticism. We laugh as much as we cringe because you manage to entertain your audience without truly shaming us.
  • jroj_29 March 2002
    9/10
    Best Canadian relationship comedy since 'Better than Chocolate'
    This honest look into the lives of three friends will make you laugh and question. You will laugh at their continuous mishaps and stumblings and you will question the state of the present day relationship. I watched this movie with my girlfriend and we both enjoyed it very much. Go and get it, I don't think you will be disappointed!
  • MBunge6 October 2010
    4/10
    An exhausting film that never lives up to its promise
    Warning: Spoilers
    Last Wedding just wore me out. There's an obvious level of talent here, more than enough to produce a smart, funny and/or touching little film. I kept waiting for that movie to take shape, but it never does. Spending 100 minutes watching interesting ideas of characters that never coalesce, sitting through scenes that go out of their way to avoid most of the meaningful drama in the story, listening to dialog that almost always says either too much or too little, it's as though Last Wedding were made up of the deleted scenes that weren't good enough to make it into a mediocre indy flick about modern relationships.

    Focusing on three Canadian couples and the disintegration of their relationships, writer/director Bruce Sweeney never offers a reason for any of it. Noah and Zipporah (Benjamin Ratner and Frida Betrani) are getting married after knowing each other for only 6 months, and there's not even the slightest hint of how these two fell in love or why they tying the knot so quickly. Noah's friends Peter and Shane (Tom Scholte and Vincent Gale) already have their own live-in girlfriends.

    Peter's been with Leslie (Nancy Sivak) for so long he can't even remember but though there's no sign of anything wrong with their relationship, he cheats on her with a young college student. Here's the thing about that. Some guys do cheat for practically no reason. Those guys cheat all the time. The movie clearly shows that this is the first time Peter's done anything like this. When those guys cheat, there's always a reason. They're frustrated with their career or unhappy with their lover or regretful about their life and the cheating is a reaction to that emotional turmoil. There's no such explanation for Peter's libidinous behavior. This girl reads him a sexually charged poem and it's like he's mesmerized.

    Then there's Shane, who's involved with a younger woman named Sarah (Molly Parker). Shane is an architect bitterly unhappy with his profession and his mood is not improved when Sarah graduates with her own degree in architecture and gets a job at a big firm. But again, aside from throwing out some names and jargon from an architectural textbook, there's no rationale for anything he feels or does.

    Noah and Zipporah's attraction, Peter's cheating and Shane's anger are at the heart of everything in this movie, but since none of it makes sense, nothing in the film makes sense. All that you can have is little bits of dramatic and comedic shtick and what there is of that in Last Wedding is weirdly disjointed. The story is constantly building to moments of humor or angst, then running away from them as fast as it can. The one time the film sets up a big moment and then pays it off effectively is, unsurprisingly, the best scene in the entire movie by a country mile. If writer/director Sweeney had consistently done that, he might have made at least an average motion picture. For whatever reason, though, his "cinematus interruptus" prevents this movie from building any momentum or sustaining any entertainment.

    In the final analysis, all Last Wedding has going for it is Frida Bertrani taking off her top and Tom Scholte giving a performance that's a cute mix of David Letterman and George Constanza. Both of those things are nice, but not nearly enough to make this film worth seeing.
  • zebede123122 May 2009
    4/10
    Change Movie Title
    Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILER***A better title would have been "No Cahonies Noah", or Clueless Couples In Canada". Usually there is at least one or more characters in a relationship movie we all can relate to or identify with. I saw this train wreck coming from the onset of the meddling mother of the psycho bride. Even the boob shot and the blow job couldn't save this movie. A saving grace would have been at least one of the characters stepping up to the plate and being a hero or heroine,but I digress,and unfortunately so did all of them. The ending made an excellent point,but didn't show a poignant moment for the females as well who were equally as guilty of emotional neglect.
  • Indievan2 April 2004
    3/10
    Interesting character piece
    Last Wedding is a character driven piece with intriguing little peeks into the inner workings of people as they make their way through life.

    Though sometimes the scenes begin to drag a little they then catch their breath and come back to life again. It's a good movie for a rainy day.

    This movie explores the many tangled emotions that throw even the most confident bride and bridegroom into panic. And then there's life after the honeymoon. Whether you are about to be married, newly married or celebrating your 50th anniversary you'll find something that rings a bell of familiarity.

    The abrupt ending, as previously mentioned, was a little disappointing but I'm sure we'll be seeing more of Benjamin Ratner and the rest of the cast.