Film Review: The Wedding Chapel (dir by Vanessa Parise)

Sarah (Emmanuelle Vaughier) is a painter who is frustrated because, despite her obvious technical skills, her work still lacks the spark of passion and imagination that it needs to be truly special.  Not only is her first show panned by a snooty art critic but her boyfriend dumps her on the same night!

Jeanie (Shelley Long) is a widow who is still adjusting to life as a single woman.

They are mother and daughter and together …. THEY SOLVE CRIMES!

No, actually, they don’t.  (Though I will say that I think a film or a show or a series of books about a mother/daughter crime solving team would be great and I’m a bit shocked that there aren’t more of them out there.)  Instead, what Sarah and Jeanie do is they return to the small town where they once lived.  It turns out that greedy developers want to tear down the family home. It’s all about eminent domain, which is a totally evil thing that should be condemned more frequently in the movies.

Anyway, it turns out that it’s not just the family home that’s due to be demolished.  The developers are also planning on tearing down the nearby chapel.  While Jeanie’s busy having flashbacks to her teenage years, Sarah’s getting involved in trying to save both the chapel and the house!  Helping out Sarah is a local politician and lawyer with the unfortunate name of Roger Waters (Mark Deklin).  Not helping Sarah is the local sheriff, who keeps arresting Sarah, tossing her in jail, and forcing her to wear one of those really unflattering orange jumpsuits.  Roger bails Sarah out so many times that he soon finds himself falling in love with her.  Sarah, however, doesn’t want to get tied down in a small town.  She has an artistic career to pursue, assuming that she can get in touch with her emotions.

Speaking of love, Jeanie is haunted by memories of her ex-boyfriend, Larry.  As far as Jeanie knows, Larry left for Vietnam and never returned.  She’s always assumed that he must have died during the war but what if …. well, let’s say that he didn’t die in the war.  And what if Larry (Barclay Hope) just happens to be living in that small town?

Oh my God, love’s all around!

First released in 2013, The Wedding Chapel is an exceedingly pleasant film.  Seriously, almost everyone in the film is extremely considerate and nice.  Even the oafish sheriff doesn’t mean to be a jerk.  He’s just doing his job.  Sarah attempts an act of civil disobedience but it’s literally the most mild protest that you could imagine.  This is the type of movie where everyone lives in a nice house and every lawn is perfectly manicured.  Even the abandoned buildings are surrounded by freshly cut grass.  The chapel may be deserted but you’d never know it from looking at it.

It’s a thoroughly predictable movie but, at the same time, it’s too good-natured to be disliked.  No one curses.  No one makes any racy jokes.  This is the type of movie that you could safely recommend to your great-grandmother without having to worry about her getting mad at you afterwards.  Emmanuelle Vaughier gives a pretty good performance as Sarah and director Vanessa Parise does what she can to keep the film from drowning in sentiment.

Since the Halloween season is upon us and this site is going to be 90% horror for the rest of October, I decided that the final movie I would watch in September would be the least terrifying film I could find.  The Wedding Chapel filled that role well.

One response to “Film Review: The Wedding Chapel (dir by Vanessa Parise)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review — 9/30/19 — 10/6/19 | Through the Shattered Lens

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