2012 Certificate: 15


Returning to Cheshire to be best man for his brother Tim (Robert Webb), carefree Raif (Rufus Hound) decides to film the build-up to the big day as a present for the happy couple. But with bride Saskia (Lucy Punch) turning out to be a notorious blast from his past and her mother (Harriet Walter) determined to make it the society wedding of the year, Tim is less a fly on the wall than a knee in the nuptials. The writer and director of Calendar Girls invite you to join a congregation of familiar British faces for this happily undemanding occasion.


  • Nigel Cole


  • Rufus Hound

  • Lucy Punch

  • Robert Webb

  • Harriet Walter

  • Miriam Margolyes


While going down more like BBC Three cava than vintage Richard Curtis, this docu-style comedy from the men behind Calendar Girls was perfectly timed to maintain the buzz of Britain's Olympic summer.

Reuniting director Nigel Cole and writer Tim Finch after the middling solo successes of Made In Dagenham and Confessions Of A Shopaholic respectively, it also gave TV funnyman Rufus Hound a chance to escape the studio confines of panel comedy Argumental and gonzo kids' show Hounded.

His amiable performance bodes well, even if the pre-nuptial larks are unlikely to bring the marquee down.

After three years abroad, devil-may-care Raif (Hound) returns to Chester, video camera in hand, to document the nuptials of his buttoned-down brother Tim (Robert 'Peep Show' Webb) and the well-to-do Saskia (Bad Teacher's Lucy Punch), whom Raif has never met.

But actually he has. Turns out that before her mum remarried and shipped her off to Switzerland, Saskia was the baddest girl at Raif's school.

Naturally, Saskia's past is just one of the things her social-climbing mother Alex (Walter) would rather not be made public as she strives to position herself at the centre of Cheshire's poshest circles.

Determined to make it the wedding of the year, Alex's dream looks set to come true when a rival's big day ends in a Titanic disaster.

Unfortunately, Raif's video diary suggests that Tim and Saskia are heading the same way.

Even more unfortunate is that they don't appear to have any friends. Bridesmaids don't feature and the only other bloke on Tim's stag night is a mate of Raif's.

Instead, we're presented with the traditional assortment of wedding-flick stalwarts from the flaky wedding planner (Green Wing's Michelle Gomez) and temperamental dance instructor to the eccentric vicar and cantankerous granny (played here by Miriam Margolyes at her Lady Whiteadder-ish best).

Originality is not a strong point. Playing like a hit-and-miss sketch show, the first hour is little more than an exercise in genre box-ticking.

But while keeping an amusing eye on the tacky frills (boxes of butterflies, ring-bearing falcons, unicorns) and sheer naffness of these occasions, Cole and Finch gradually settle into a more cosily predictable groove.

Which may give you cold feet or have you racing down the aisle.