When The Knot was released in cinemas it’s not an understatement to say it was met with bad reviews. It currently has a score of 0% on RottenTomatoes and the invective spewed at it reached a point that it even led to a spat between a few of the cast (and their relatives) and some of the reviewers.
To be honest, many of the cinema reviews were a lot harsher than the film deserves – that not to say it’s good, just that’s there are far worse films out there. I think perhaps part of the problem was seeing it on the cinema screen, as it’s seems far more suited to television. Indeed it would probably have been better to have made it as a six-part comedy series for TV.
That’s not the direction they went though, instead turning it into a 90-minute movie. It feels like an attempt to make a British version of The Hangover or Bridesmaids, and as it’s a UK movie it has to be about a wedding (seriously, how many getting-married movies can Britain produce – it’s getting to the point where more British people are getting hitched on-screen than in real life?).
The film starts on the morning of Jeremy’s (Matthew McNulty) wedding to Alex (Talulah Riley), with the action split between the bride getting ready and the groom preparing following a heavy night of stag party shenanigans. Jeremy’s friends have set up a number of pranks for their mate, who also has to contend with the car not turning up, not knowing where the church is and the fact someone’s sent him some testicles in a jar.
The bride meanwhile is missing a bridesmaid, has to face the difficulty of using the toilet while wearing a wedding dress and might not make it to the church after one of her party manages to get glass in her ass.
It’s essentially a series of skits and grossout jokes without all that much of a plot to pull it together – other the obstacles getting in the way of the nuptials actually taking place. Some of the jokes are pretty amusing but a lot of them land with a thud, often because they seem to come out of nowhere.
The film’s problems largely stem from the structure and the way the characters are handled. The Knot makes a valiant attempt to give each character their own arc, but far too often the resolutions are either dumb, don’t feel real or shove in a left-field dose of heavy sentimentality that seems like it’s fallen in from a different movie. It doesn’t help either that half the time the characters act like assholes – although this is admittedly a matter of taste, as if you like pranks and being so laddish you should get an award for it, perhaps you’ll like these people.
The other issue is the structure. Most of early part of the movie seems to be trying to create some tension as to whether the wedding will actually happen – Will the bride get cold feet? Will the groom get to the church? – but the nuptials happen about two-thirds of the way through, which results in the final half hour feeling like we’ve already reached the climax and now it’s refusing to end. Indeed, it underlines how this would probably have worked better as a TV comedy series.
It’s a bit of a shame really as the talented young cast – Noel Clarke, Jason Maza, Susannah Fielding, Davie Fairbanks and a rather random role for Mena Suvari – all look like they’re having fun and think they’re producing something hilarious, but the results are less than the effort they put in. It’s not a complete disaster and The Knot does just about provide enough amusement to keep you watching, but when the credits roll it’s difficult not to feel that the film has missed a lot more than it’s hit.
If you were entertained though, there’s a decent selection of special features to take a look at.
Overall Verdict: Despite a lot of effort being put in by the cast, they can’t overcome the fact a lot of the jokes aren’t great, the characters are uneven and the structure is lopsided. There are a few laughs, but it really would have been better off as a TV comedy.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac