IN SEARCH OF OSCAR
South Africa: White Wedding, Jaan Turner
By Kathleen McInnis
White Wedding is South AfricaÕs submission for the 2010 Oscar.
This is a shockingly bad film.
Two black South African best-friends take a road trip to get one of them (Elvis) married in the small village where his fiancˇe awaits. The trip starts badly because the best man (Tony) has cheated on his girlfriend who then takes out her frustration on his car. When Elvis and Tony finally borrow a car and actually get on the road, we are supposed to believe this two day trip will bring them closer together.
But this is a road trip saddled with so many unlikely plot points, none of which are funny but all of which are played as comic, that the film is overburdened by a complete sense of disbelief from the very beginning. Along this horribly written journey, Elvis and Tony pick-up a whiny, boring, less-than-charming, white British woman who has inexplicably run out into the middle-of-nowhere South Africa without any means of transportation or support. Crying miserably about her fiancˇe who cheated on her, this poor excuse of a woman is meant to impart wisdom on the two men, who act more like 14-year-old boys than they do adults.
Along the way, this unlikely (and desperately unlikeable) trio is confronted by one misadventure after another, including a run-in with overtly stereotyped racists and a show-down with a chauvinistic ex-boyfriend. To my way of thinking, the true misadventure here is that this film got made at all. And whatÕs worse, I suppose, is that South Africa thought it worthy of an Oscar.
One has to wonder, repeatedly and with a great deal of passion, just what are these foreign committees basing their decisions on anyway?? Have they ever watched the Oscars? What a mistake, to offer a poorly made, misguided attempt at a faux Hollywood romantic comedy. Laden with horrible stereotypes and dismal performances, White Wedding is the cinematic version of the embarrassing uncle who should have been left off the invite list.