Personal irony as to Netflix train wreck "A New York Christmas Wedding," which owes a high viewership to hipsters watching it because it is so bad, is that my desire as to the time-travel element of the film is to go back to 5:30 last night and not suffer through this disaster. I long ago abandoned the practice of trashing movies for the joy of it and only write negative posts about projects that horrendous enough to actually enrage.
The rest of my reasoning is that filmmakers who clearly put their hearts and souls into a film deserve props in both sense of that word.
Part of this anger is not the fault of writer/director/star Otoja Abit. My highly significant other suggested watching "Wedding" knowing that its lack of quality was its appeal. I agreed to watch it based on the IMDb synopsis that the main character was magically given a chance to see what life would have been like if she had not "denied her true feelings for her childhood best friend."
I was expecting a so bad it's good Lifetime/Hallmark style film about a women reuniting with the boy who got away in the days before that potential runaway bride is set to walk down the aisle. I could have accepted the story of a repressed lesbian discovering the importance of to thine own self be true if it has been told with more heart and humor.
The first societal note as to "Wedding" is that the evil Netflix empire likely only cares that Abit is generating impressive hits; one can only dread what Obit has planned next for a more suspecting public. I truly can do better with a queer-themed holiday film and invite a producer to put his or her money where my mouth is.
Regular readers know that the appeal of this site includes providing a good sense of a film without providing spoilers. This post is the rare exception to that golden rule. Spoilers both will show why this movie prompts such strong emotions and will help readers avoid the same MilleniHell as your not-so-humble reviewer.
Our story begins with a old-looking teen Jennifer (Nia Fairweather plays the adult role) on the verge of getting busy with horndog boyfriend Vinnie when BFF Gabrielle (Adriana DeMeo is adult Gabrielle) "blocks" her by begging her to come over (and perhaps euphemistically) trim the tree. Jennifer refusing is the turning point that drives the film right off a cliff.
We fast forward 20 years to the portion of the film in which Fairweather actually gives a good performance in contrast to barley showing emotion the rest of the time. She is a Bridezilla contending with a monster-in-law months before the titular ceremony with David; Abit deserves credit for his good portrayal of this man engaged to a girl who knows that she would like kissing a girl.
The stress prompts Jennifer to pull a neo-modern George Bailey by taking an after-dark jog in Central Park. She meets her Clarence in the form of angel Azrael; part of the pain of "Wedding" is Azrael portrayor Cooper Koch alternating between playing the role as fabulous or hipster. His uneven speaking style is worse than nails on a chalkboard.
Jennifer wakes up the next morning in an alternate world in which she is living with fiancee Gabrielle. The grossly understated response to that shock event (and to all that follows) PERFECTLY illustrates the aforementioned bad performance by Fairweather and the lack of holiday spirit in "Wedding." It is clear that beyond having slept there, Jennifer lived there and loved there; she never really died there,
This also relates to a big problem with "Wedding," Gabrifer cites the October 2020 papal pronouncement on same-sex marriage in trying to convince the local priest to marry them in the church, This clearly establishes that this shot-on-location movie is filmed in the middle of the pandemic. Yet, there is no mention of postponing either wedding due to Covid or to that event at all. Further, NO ONE is wearing a mask or social distancing at all!
This leads to the wedding of Gabrifer at which Azrael is a buzzkill in the form of telling Jennifer that she must return to the real world and marry David. Spoiling the climax that Jennifer convincing Azrael to transport her back to the critical Christmas season in which she chooses her bro over her ho is important. The HUGE Millenihell issue as to this is the message that every member of that generation is so special that actions have no consequences; the "kids" can do as they please, and the "adults" will put right what once went wrong.
In contrast, the traditional basic-cable fare of this ilk has the "innocent" either run off with his or her soulmate or tell that special someone to "get on the plane" in modern times. In other words, the lead endures hardship either for the reward of happily ever after or for the warm fuzzy feeling of allowing the needs of the many to take precedence over the needs of the few. The "do-over" does not erase the past.
As if this is not enough, probable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez devotee Abit shows the same intolerance that rightfully warrants scorn by LGBTQ activists. Exposition near the end of the film reveals that Gabrielle going straight after the rejection gets her knocked up with an unwanted baby, losing that little bastard, and then becoming roadkill. This is as bad as the rightfully condemned negative portrayals of gays and lesbians for decades.
Abit does not stop there; we learn late in the film that Azrael is the unborn child of Gabrielle. Nothing says desperately needed holiday cheer than the concept that every time a fetus dies, an angel gets his wings.
The final note is that watching "Wedding" REQUIRED immediately "Disney's Magical Holiday Celebrations" on DisneyPlus to cleanse the stench of the former. A "Silkwood" shower also may be needed.