Distasteful wedding comedy written by and starring Noel Clarke with Matthew McNulty
Noel Clarke emerged during the last decade as a British actor and filmmaker with distinct promise, but in recent years his prolific output has fallen far short of that potential. This wedding comedy, starring and co-written by Clarke, is surely his creative nadir; it’s hard to imagine a more inept or ill-judged film than The Knot being released in cinemas this year. The set-up – never developed enough to be accurately called a story – is that young couple Jeremy (Matthew McNulty) and Alexandra (Talulah Riley) are getting married and we are following the events of the big day, beginning as the bride and groom wake up from their respective debauched hen and stag nights, moving through various contrived pitfalls until the happy couple ultimately get hitched.
It sounds familiar and predictably harmless, but in a spectacularly misjudged decision, Clarke and co-writers Davie Fairbanks and Geoff Carino decide to up the stakes by surrounding the couple with arguably the most unlikeable cast of supporting characters ever created. The men (including Clarke as best man Peter) spend the film either making abhorrent sexist jokes or displaying a belief-beggaring ignorance to the requirements of basic human decency, while the female characters (including token American Mena Suvari, who was in American Beauty for goodness sake!) range all the way from sex-obsessed nymphs to spite-filled bitches. Even the bride and groom’s parents behave like children, and exhibit an inhuman disregard for Jeremy and Alexandra’s happiness. From this ghastly foundation, the script scrapes the humour barrel with a seemingly endless stream of toilet gags, homophobia, sexism and people behaving at a level of stupidity that is surely sub-human. There’s even some casual racism thrown in when the groom crashes an African wedding, a joke deemed so funny by the filmmakers that it is repeated three times.
Every aspect of The Knot, from concept through script to performances, has the slapdash, half-finished quality of a high-school play, or perhaps a home video in which everyone involved is convinced that what they are creating is hilarious. In fact, it is not only unfunny and tedious but also hugely unpleasant.
Selected release from Fri 5 Oct.