by Amy Ramirez, contributing blogger
Unlike American romantic comedies, you’re not sure whether Ariel Winograd’s, Mi Primera Boda (My First Wedding) is a celebration of love or an unresolved display of the ugly reality when it breaks through romantic illusions. But that doesn’t really matter because, also unlike American Romantic comedies, “love” is on the back burner.
Mi Primer Boda grossed over $1,944,740 pesos argentinos (about U$S 463,000) during its opening week, making it number three in the Argentinean box offices (After Final Destination, and The Smurfs). It is a must-see for anyone who wants to see a soon-to-be-classic Argentinean movie that is both hilarious and beautifully filmed.
Well-known starlet Natalia Oreiro, along with Daniel Hendler, deliver spectacular performances that prove both actors are ready to take on comedic roles. After her emerging performance as a comedic actress in 2010’s Miss Tacuarembó, and now with Mi Primera Boda, Uruguayan Oreiro proves she can be a brilliantly versatile performer. This film is also Hendler’s second comedy after his darker movie days starring in Daniel Burman films.
The movie takes place on the wedding day of Jewish-born, not religious, Adrián Hershell and Catholic-born, not that religious, Leonora Bellami. Aided by his lovable sidekick (Martín Piroyansky), the groom spends the entire movie trying to postpone the wedding ceremony. Not because he doesn’t want to get married (wink*), but because he clumsily looses one (later both) of the sacred wedding rings.
Disaster ensues, chaos reigns.
An action-packed 90-minutes unveils religious and personality tensions between families, theological musings of a wandering priest and rabbi, a sex/drugs/rock-n-roll senile grandparent, and the hidden motives of ex-lovers. Every character has his/her moment of glory.
The dry, personality, and situational humor in this film bears semblance to the humor in Judd Apatow films, now, whether that is a good or bad thing is up to the viewer’s taste and discretion. A vocal few in youtube land feel the movie is “too Hollywood” however, many critics and regular viewers alike believe this movie has revitalized and redefined the Argentinean comedic genre. Films Critic Juan Pablo Russo from Escribiendo Cine states that it is the “revindication on the Argentinean comedy.”
Despite the criticism, the movie attempts to preserve the essence of classic Porteño humor by making reference to the classic comedy skit group “Les Luthiers,” Marcos Mundstock and Daniel Rabinovich play the priest and the rabbi.
The character’s insecurities and frustrations contradict the breathtaking beauty of the location yet the fast-paced, story-time editing and camera work complement the insanity.