Key Points:

Herald Rating: * * * *

Verdict:

Despite over-egging, Kiwi wedding comedy takes the cake

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Much has already been made of the family connections behind this low-budget local flick. Screenwriter Nick Ward was inspired by his Mum's second-hand shopping tendencies and his Dad's vintage car habit.

First-time feature director Paul Murphy is the son of Geoff Murphy, maker of the legendary

Goodbye Pork Pie

,

Utu

and

The Quiet Earth

... and most recently the less-than-legendary backpacker sitcom

Welcome to Paradise

- a show which also featured

Second-Hand Wedding's

O'Kane and Shanahan who bring whatever chemistry they developed there to this as its bride-and-groom-to-be.

They aren't the only familiar faces - even one of the film's two vehicular stars induces some deja vu.

And, it's not exactly stretching the boundaries of on-screen family conflict with its tale of a mum (Brophy) whose bargain-hunting garage sale passion makes her daughter Cheryl (Shanahan) worry her wedding will be another one of the cheap knock-offs she has suffered all through her life.

So it's a cosy affair all round really. But that unabashed homeliness somehow becomes

Second-Hand Wedding's

chief virtue.

Like they said in Aussie movie cousin

The Castle

, it's the vibe of the thing. And while there are plenty of quibbles about how it constructs its plot - best summed up as "mother-daughter-falling-out-puts-wedding-in-peril-while-blokes-stand-around-perplexed"- it really does get there in the end.

True, it's got one dream sequence and a couple of cartoonish supporting characters too many. But

SHW

delivers its own oddball celebration of middle New Zealand foibles, shot through with an infectious enthusiasm for other people's junk.

As a wedding movie, it delivers most of the essentials - a sweet proposal scene, some insurmountable odds to overcome and a big cheesy toe-tapping finale.

It's not as sharp-witted nor dysfunctional as last year's

Eagle Vs Shark

set just down the road from this on Wellington's Kapiti Coast, neither is it quite the suburban heartland answer to

Sione's Wedding

.

But as a cosy mumsy nuptials flick it still hits the spot with its affectionately drawn main characters.

Second-Hand Wedding

might have been made on the cheap but it's just a like a bought one. Oh and it's sure to get a warm reception.

Russell Baillie




Cast:

Geraldine Brophy, Holly Shanahan, Ryan O'Kane, Patrick Wilson

Director: Paul Murphy Rating: PG (adult themes)

Running time:

94 mins

Screening:

Skycity, Hoyts, Bridgeway, Rialto, Berkeley, Matakana cinemas