C. Jay Cox and Tyler Lieberman’s gay-themed variation on MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING (1997) is a light, formulaic romantic comedy that plays with genre conventions just enough to make its cotton-candy charms feel almost fresh.
Matt (Philipp Karner) travelled a long way from small-town Apple Valley, Arizona, to become the fabulous, A-list editor and chief photographer of glossy gay LA lifestyle magazine "Queery." He and sharp-tongued assistant Stephanie (Jane Cho) are on the verge of closing the "Big Gay Wedding" issue when Matt's past resurfaces in the form of an invitation to the nuptials of his first love, Ryan (James O'Shea), and one Alex -- the shocker being that Alex is a woman (Tori Spelling). Matt, who's in the middle of breaking up with yet another boyfriend (Charlie David), takes the next plane home, determined to stop Ryan from making the biggest mistake of his life –- and he wouldn't mind gloating about how fat and provincial Ryan, who returned home after college to keep his hard-drinking dad (Robert Foxworth) from running the family contracting business into the ground, has become. But things aren't what Matt expected: Ryan is still smoking hot and sending mixed messages, and Matt can’t bring himself to hate Alex because frankly, she’s great: smart, funny, generous and just plain nice. Meanwhile, the wedding madness is in full swing. Alex's high-maintenance family –- intellectual dad Gerald (Garrett M. Brown), cougar mom Evelyn (Joanna Cassidy) and morose sister Elly (Amber Benson of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who was left at the altar a year earlier -– has just arrived, Ryan's parents are divorced and his mom (Tess Harper) has married successful local businessman Dan "The Mattress King" Davis (E.E. Bell). Ryan’s pals (Steve Sandvoss, Michael Medico) are coordinating his bachelor party at the local strip joint, lap dance included. Drinks are downed, memories rehashed, attitudes challenged and unexpected confessions blurted out. Who will Ryan choose, Kelly or Matt?
The first product of the Outfest Screenwriting Lab, KISS THE BRIDE -– which debuted simultaneously on the GLBT-targeted here! cable network and in limited theatrical venues -- is refreshingly frank about its inspiration: "You want to wreck the wedding and steal him for yourself," quips Stephanie when Matt freaks out about Ryan's impending marriage, adding, "You are so Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding right now!" While the film doesn't break new ground, it's indicative of a quiet milestone in gay-themed entertainment: It's as blandly entertaining, comfortably contrived and fundamentally wholesome as a made-for-cable WE or Lifetime original movie.
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- Released: 2008
- Rating: R
- Review: C. Jay Cox and Tyler Lieberman’s gay-themed variation on MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING (1997) is a light, formulaic romantic comedy that plays with genre conventions just enough to make its cotton-candy charms feel almost fresh. Matt (Philipp Karner) travell… (more)