Secret Bridesmaid's Business (2002)

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Released 29-May-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Audio
Featurette-Whatever Happened To Naomi?
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 89:44 (Case: 114)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lynn-Maree Danzey
Studio
Distributor
Elm Films
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Helen Dallimore
Val Lehman
Rebecca Frith
Sacha Horler
Vince Colosimo
Alice McConnell
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music paulmac


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Secret Bridesmaids' Business - definitely an Australian title. But what's it about? Your first guess might be some kind of Australian equivalent to American Pie, judging by the title, but you'd be wrong. This is actually a delightfully funny film about what goes on in a hotel room the night before (and the morning of) a wedding. Kind of like one part of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite, but funnier, harder-edged, and very interesting.

    This is the telemovie adaptation of a play that was first performed at the Playbox in 1999. If you saw the play, you'll have a good idea of what happens, but it has been changed in a number of ways for the different medium. All the events (excepting the dream sequences) take place in a single hotel suite. This deliberate restriction gives the movie structure; it works well. Even so, it doesn't feel staged - the camera's point of view moves around the suite freely. The director told everyone that this was to be approached as a feature film, not a telemovie. If the interviews didn't mention it, I'd not have considered this a telemovie - it certainly comes over as a feature.

    OK, so what is this film about? The basic premise is simple enough: Meg (Helen Dallimore) is getting married to James (Vince Colosimo). Her two closest friends, Angela (Rebecca Frith) and Lucy (Sacha Horler) are her bridesmaids, and the three of them, plus Meg's mum (Val Lehman), are spending the night in a hotel (the Hotel Capa - not a real Melbourne hotel, despite the very recognisable Melbourne landmarks outside). Mum is fussing over every last detail (this is authentic!) because she wants her daughter's wedding to be perfect (we see, briefly, what went wrong at Mum's wedding). Everything is going normally until Lucy reveals to Angela that she has just heard that Naomi (Alice McConnell) is having an affair with James, or at least, with a guy called James - she's going to get a phone call confirming this James' surname some time during the evening. Lucy wants to tell Meg, but Angela insists that this is a very bad idea. The stage is set, and I'm not saying any more!

    The author of the original play, Elizabeth Coleman, also wrote the screenplay - she's a keen observer, with, as one of the interviews mentions, a sharp pen. She has a razor-sharp sense of irony, too.

    Guys - if you ever wondered what happens when a bunch of close female friends are together, I have it on good authority that this is fairly accurate, even to the occasional coarse language. Ladies - expect questions from the men afterwards - just deny everything!

    Whatever else you think, do not categorise this film as a "chick flick" - it's a well-structured, intelligent, comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite being male (I suspect there are one or two jokes I didn't get, though. If your lady is giggling when you aren't, don't ask!). Oh, and my enjoyment was not harmed by the invitation in the opening credits being addressed to Tony...

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. I expect that's the intended aspect ratio.

    The picture is a little soft in some scenes, but it is always clear. There's very good shadow detail, and no low level noise.

    Colour is very good. There's no trace of colour bleed or oversaturation.

    There are what could be a few tiny film artefacts, but on watching one frame by frame I came to the conclusion that it was a trick of the light. There's minimal aliasing, and no moire. There's light MPEG shimmer on some of the backgrounds. This is a clean transfer, but there is some light film grain.

    There are no subtitles or captions. That's a shame - this film was probably captioned when shown on the ABC, and I'm sure they could have gotten access to those captions.

    The disc is single-sided (with an attractive picture label), and single layered. That means no layer change, and the film being under 90 minutes means that it fits comfortably.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The singular soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded.

    The dialogue is clear and there are no visible audio sync issues. The language is definitely Australian, which is a pleasant change from the American or English we're normally listening to - there are even a couple of local Melbourne references. Our overseas friends can try understanding us for a change!

    The score, by paulmac, is nicely restrained - there are plenty of stretches without music, but it chimes in nicely where required.

    The surrounds and subwoofer aren't used - this is a pure stereo soundtrack, but that's all we need for this movie.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    There's an advertisement for ABC videos at the start of the disc, but you can bypass it by pressing Menu. There's an attractive introduction to the menus, and nice transitions into submenus. The main menu has theme music behind it. The menus are pleasant and simple to operate.

Deleted Scene - Whatever happened to Naomi? (0:51)

    This is rather fun - I think it is a deleted scene, but it's not officially labelled as such.

Interviews: The Actors

    These are short interviews with all of the actors, organised with photos of the actors instead of simple text:

Interviews: Creative Team

    These are short interviews with members of the crew:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie is not available in other regions yet. Not a problem, though, because our version is perfectly acceptable.

Summary

    Secret Bridesmaid's Business is a delightfully funny film, presented nicely on DVD.

    The video quality is rather good, and 16x9 enhanced.

    The audio quality is fine.

    The extras are short, but fun.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)
The DVD Bits - Dean B
region4dvd.net - Darren R (read my bio (fun for the whole family))
DVDownUnder - Cassandra N
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Angela A

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