"Wedding Wars" is a bit of light weight fun, a comedy about a gay wedding planner going out on strike in outrage over a Governor's opposition to gay marriage. In being so we have some stereotypes, some stereotypical humour from fluffy romantic comedy to gay stereotypes and a general easy going tone. But at the same time "Wedding Wars" drops in enough food for thought when it comes to the subject of gay marriage to make you think. What that means is that whilst "Wedding Wars" could anger those opposed to gay marriage, it could also anger those who dislike the fluffiness that the subject of gay marriage is treated with. But for those in the middle it comes across as light weight fun with meaning.
When Ben Grandy (Eric Dane - Adrift) proposes to Maggie (Bonnie Somerville) and she says yes he is the happiest man on the planet, especially as Maggie's father is also his boss Governor Conrad Welling (James Brolin - A Guy Thing). But Ben's happiness turns to horror when Maggie insists he hires his brother Shel (John Stamos) as their wedding planner because he is uncomfortable with his brother being gay. To make matters worse Ben has just written a speech for the Governor opposing gay marriage which when Shel learns was Ben's words takes huge offence and goes on strike backed by all the other gay workers as they make a stand.
Whilst some may disagree I think "Wedding Wars" works as a movie because it manages to deliver a lot of predictable and familiar comedy but then put in enough meaning so it makes you think without being preachy. What that means is that we get quite a bit of fun with stereotypes such as the Governor who whilst quite liberal is more concerned with winning votes, Ben who is a classic movie homophobic and many more. We also get some stereotypical humour from Ben being uncomfortable when meeting Shel's gay friends to a cheesy wedding planner with a love of gold lamé. The one stereotype we don't really get is Shel because whilst a little bit of a stereotype he isn't over the top camp which makes a nice change to the norm for these sorts of movie. But this makes "Wedding Wars" works, it makes good fun as it doesn't take it self seriously all the time.
Now I said all the time because of course any movie in this day and age which takes on the subject of gay marriage must have some serious moments. And "Wedding Wars" does as it tries to highlight that gay marriage is not about religion or spoiling tradition but equality and it does so without ever feeling preachy. Even so "Wedding Wars" is one of those movies which is sure to offend, offend those totally against gay marriage and also those who find the movies light weight approach of an important subject offensive. It might also offend people with the joke about everything shutting down if all gay people went on strike. Basically you could say no matter what happens in "Wedding Wars" it is a movie which will offend someone even though it doesn't set out to do so.
That aside part of the strength of "Wedding Wars" is in the casting and through out it is first rate. James Brolin has a glint in his eye playing the slippery governor whose focus is always on the vote whilst Eric Dane is perfect as the homophobic brother who emits those stereotypical moments of unease around gay men. But the real spot on performance is from John Stamos as Shel because he plays him gay, not camp, not overly effeminate although with slight touches which makes him instantly likeable. And that is the key, Shel is a likeable guy, a level headed everyman who is no politician just a man standing up for equality.
What this all boils down to is that "Wedding Wars" is a pleasant surprise especially as I haven't yet mentioned that it is a made for TV movie. It is lightweight and fluffy but in being so it is fun but it still gets across a message without being preachy.