Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Confetti (2006)

This review was originally posted on Ian's Personal Blog on 8th October 2006.

ConfettiBritish comedy on TV has been in a pretty dire state for quite a long time now. There's Little Britain, which started off well but then fell into the trap of week-in, week-out, repeating the same 'joke' involving tired, endlessly repeated catch phrases. The Office was an intelligent, cerebral comedy. And Extra's seems to be garnering rave critical reviews, if not the viewing figures, for reasons I'd love to think were down to viewers realising that completely stealing old sketches and ideas from the likes of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm really isn't very original OR that funny.

And now we have a 'comedy' movie, featuring most of the 'flavour of the month' TV comedians that are on our screens at present. Could a British film possibly achieve what the TV shows haven't - a rare belly chuckle or raucous laugh?

Sadly the answer is 'no'. Indeed Confetti failed to raise so much as a smile from this viewer. The cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry, this tired, improvised mess of a 90 minute 'reality show spoof' is the laziest, most self-indulgent piece of nonsense I've seen in a long, long time.

The central conceit of the film is that it's a 'fly on the wall' documentary about a magazine competition for a themed wedding, with the entrants being very quickly whittled down to three sets of contestants - an overly-competitive tennis-mad couple, a relatively normal (I wonder who'll win!) 'dance-themed' couple, and a naturist couple which inevitably means there's a lot of full-frontal nudity in the film. There's a lot of comedic potential in the basic plot, but none of it is realised. Even the naturist couple - who should surely be a veritable mine of funny, if rather obvious, gags - just bore, being too shouty, too irritating and just plain dull to cause even a wry little giggle.

Sometimes one has to be in the mood for a laugh of course, but when I followed this film with a first viewing of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, a silent film made over 75 years ago, that film had me laughing out loud within minutes. It's not hard to see that it's the material - not the viewer - that's at fault in struggling to find anything even vaguely amusing here. Chaplin, you see, wrote jokes, where the cast of Confetti, normally used to delivering lines written by professional comedic writers, had to just make things up on the spot and are clearly not used to doing so.

Christopher Guest has proved that you can make good improvisational comedy, with movies like Best in Show or Spinal Tap, but he had a cast presumably well-versed in writing comedy. Confetti appears to have a bunch of people who THINK they can be funny, but, based on the evidence displayed here, can only deliver performances or lines that are as 'funny' as cancer or taxes.

Confetti is 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back, and for that I feel resentful. Please don't waste 90 minutes of YOUR life on it!

Confetti screencap

The transfer is a good one, as it should be given that it's a very recent release, but the picture quality is extremely soft throughout (the screencaps here have been reduced and then sharpened using a Photoshop 'sharpen' filter, so don't use them as a judge of the picture quality!) Whether this irritatingly soft focus is 'intentional' to reflect the low budget look of cheap TV 'reality' shows is a moot point, but suffice to say this really is a 'film' that is best seen on a small TV rather than the big screen.

Extra's include three alternate ending which show different scenarios at the competition end, together with a whole bunch of deleted scenes that according to some reviews are as long as the film itself. I'm afraid I didn't waste any time on them, given my aversion to the edited version of film.

Not a purchase then, and not even a rental. For the cost of a rental you can buy a joke book. It's a shame the makers of the film didn't think of that before putting this mess together!

Confetti screencap

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