Boy meets girl, boy and girl fight/banter a bit, boy and girl have an epiphany and realize they’re right for one another, generally right before a brief separation which is usually the result of one or the other or both refusing to admit that they are attracted to the other. Then a happy ending, various people kiss, and you leave the theatre filled with warm fuzzies (or, if you’re a man, the knowledge that you just bought some brownie points for sitting quietly through the film next to your girlfriend).
Despite the formula, despite the fact that everyone knows just exactly what will eventually happen, Romantic Comedies still entertain, and The Decoy Bride doesn’t disappoint.
The Decoy Bride follows the Romantic Comedy formula beautifully, and opens with celebrity couple Lara Tyler (Alice Eve) and James Arber (David Tennant) unsuccessfully attempting to evade the paparazzi on their wedding day, while at the same time, Katie Nic Aodh (Kelly MacDonald) returns to her tiny island hometown of Hegg following the breakdown of her engagement.
As Lara and James search for a place to have a quiet wedding, Katie nurses her broken heart by assuming her old job at the town shop and beginning to write a tourism book all about Hegg. The locals are abuzz with news of a marketing conference, the castle is rented out for the conference and a monk with an Italian accent and a photography “hobby” pays cash for a room at the only B&B on the island.
Sensing something far bigger than a marketing conference, the locals pry just enough to find out the truth, a story which they sell to everyone who will listen (and pay). The paparazzi flood the island and the lovebirds idyllic wedding is again ruined, but the Lara’s manager refuses to let the influx of journalists ruin his client’s big day. Lara and James are forced into hiding and the PR team resolve to throw everyone off the scent by finding themselves a decoy bride and fixing up the castle to match the wikipedia entry in time for the real wedding. As you can probably imagine, some zany hijinks ensue, a slightly unrealistic romance blossoms and you will eventually roll credits feeling warm and fuzzy.
Certainly it’s not Oscar worthy. It’s chintzy, cute, and features some funny lines about a public toilet haunted by a cow’s ghost, but it’s never going to be much more than the movie equivilant of a Mars Bar. Its good once in a while, but probably not good for you. If you are at the once in a while point though, go enjoy, it’s a fun film to curl up to on a rainy afternoon, and despite seeing the ending coming a mile away, you’ll still get the warm fuzzies.
So, go! Be distracted for a bit! You deserve a little guilty pleasure.
The Decoy Bride is currently available as a digital rental though Amazon.com, and will be released June 26.