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Decoy Bride, The


Stars: Alice Eve, David Tennant, Dylan Moran, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Urie, Sally Phillips

Director: Sheree Folkson

There’s something wonderfully old-fashioned about this amiable, mildly amusing but predictable and hardly memorable British romcom. It steps firmly in the celluloid footsteps of traditional British-made B features from the 1950s with minor stars and a patently low budget. Interestingly, and unlike its predecessors, it doesn’t feature an imported American star to give the show some appeal in the States.

Actually, Eve probably qualifies as the ‘Hollywood import’ here since her recent career has taken her to Hollywood. (Indeed, it’s possible ‘The Decoy Bride’ was deliberately released in the UK in the same week as ‘The Raven’ in which Eve costarred in order to cash in on the Hollywood film’s publicity). Not that really matters since ‘The Decoy Bride’ is headed to DVD on March 12th.

In ‘The Raven’ Eve is buried alive. It could well be that she is hoping ‘The Decoy Bride’ will follow the same course since there’s nothing in it that’s likely to advance her career. In the face of a mild screenplay by Sally Phillips, who also appears as her assistant, Eve plays an American film star whose continual hounding by paparazzi drives her into deciding to hold her wedding to English writer Tennant on a sleepy Scottish island.

Unfortunately for her, paparazzo Castelluccio tracks her down to the island hideaway. Phillips and Eve’s PA Urie come up with a scheme to distract the pap by using local lass MacDonald as a decoy bride. And the result? I imagine most moviegoers will be able to work out the likely romantic set-up without much prodding…

Having been hailed as ‘Hamlet’ and triumphantly toured the universe as Dr Who, there’s hardly much Tennant needs to do other than speak the dialogue and decorate it with appropriate expressions. Eve has little to do and does it well enough while MacDonald’s natural charm carries her through and gives some welcome depth to her shallow role.

Alan Frank

UK 2011. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Colour.
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 09 Mar 2012