Thank God He Met Lizzie (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Oct-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Production Notes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-B-Roll
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 90:24
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Cherie Nowlan
Studio
Distributor
Stamen Films
Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Richard Roxburgh
Cate Blanchett
Frances O'Connor
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music Martin Armiger


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Thank God He Met Lizzie (also known as The Wedding Party) is a bittersweet romantic comedy about a man called Guy Jamieson (Richard Roxburgh) who, on his wedding day, reminisces about his former girlfriend Jenny (Frances O'Connor) and wonders whether he made the right choice.

    The film is virtually two separate stories and there is no real connection between them apart from the common element of Guy. The "foreground" story is about Guy, a thirtysomething year old guy seeking a girlfriend as he fears being lonely as he grows older. He meets Lizzie (Cate Blanchett) accidentally whilst searching for the owner of a very pregnant cat. They fall in love and decides to marry.

    During the elaborate wedding and reception, Guy's thoughts keep turning to memories of Jenny, the girl who he had a relationship with throughout most of his twenties. The story of Guy and Jenny is told as a series of flashbacks, from the time they initially met to the time they finally broke up.

    Guy is your prototypical Aussie male, and I use the term in a derogatory sense. He is insensitive, fearful of commitment, hides or denies his feelings, and is untruthful to himself let alone his loved ones. I found it hard to empathise with him. I mean, his idea of foreplay is to watch sports on TV. I really feel sorry for Jenny - she obviously loves him despite all his faults and she is the one who gets hurt the most. Lizzie seems nice, but seems to be too influenced by her snobbish mother.

    The film is rather funny in parts but ultimately I was not drawn into it. The focus on the wedding reminds me of other films such as Four Weddings And A Funeral and The Wedding Banquet (I still think this is Ang Lee's best film) but suffers in comparison with them.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.75:1 with 16x9 enhancement.

    This is a somewhat problematic transfer, but I'm not sure whether it's due to the telecine or inherent in the film source (I suspect the latter). The transfer is somewhat soft, and at times appear somewhat pixelated. Colour saturation levels seem to vary across the film depending on the scene, and ranges from acceptable to poor. Fortunately, black levels and shadow detail are reasonable.

    Some scenes are shot by a hand held camera and I suspect the quality suffers as a result. Some of the outdoor scenes look over-exposed and feature under-saturated colours. In addition, parts of the film look a touch on the grainy side.

    Thankfully there aren't many MPEG artefacts or other artefacts present, apart from what looks like low level Gibb's effect (accentuating the grain). The film source looks reasonably clean and devoid of marks or scratches.

    There are no subtitle tracks and the disc is single sided and single layered.



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

Audio

    There is only one audio track: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). Even though the surround flag has not been turned on, I suspect the audio track is surround-encoded. Engaging the Dolby Pro Logic decoder reveals some music ambience being directed towards the rear channels but other than that this is a very dialogue-centred film.

    The track itself is pleasant sounding, with reasonable dynamics and is full bodied. As I mentioned before, it is dialogue-focused so most of the sound comes from the front speakers, particularly the centre channel. Of course, there is no subwoofer activity.

    I did not detect any audio synchronisation issues and dialogue was relatively easy to understand throughout the film.

    The original music score was by Martin Armiger. The opening titles music is quite pleasant but apart from that the background music in the film is not memorable.



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

Extras

    There is a reasonable collection of extras, even if they appear somewhat "unpolished."

Menu

    The main menu features 16x9 enhancement and background audio but seems to be somewhat fuzzy and features a number of composite film-to-video artefacts including chroma separation and pixelization.

Production Notes

    This is a set of 10 stills that provides some notes and anecdotes about the making of the film.

Featurette - B-Roll (3:01)

    This appears to be mostly consist of excerpts from behind the scenes footage, probably intended to be edited into a promotional featurette. It concentrates on two major scenes:

    The featurette is presented in 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Biographies and Interviews - Cast & Crew

    This is a set of sub-menus, biographical stills, mug shots and brief video interviews of the following:

    There a short interview segment for most of the above names - these videos are presented in full frame (1.33:1) and appear to be edited excerpts from longer interview sessions.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc is entitled The Wedding Party and misses out on;

    Having a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio would be really nice, but given that the film is rather dialogue-focused and the Dolby Digital 2.0 track sounded quite reasonable, I would be tempted to nominate Region 4 as the winner.

Summary

    Thank God He Met Lizzie (also known as The Wedding Party) is a bittersweet romantic comedy. It is presented on a disc with a mediocre video transfer but acceptable audio transfer (though sadly in stereo only). The extras are reasonable, particularly in comparison to the bare-bones Region 1 release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Friday, October 12, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Gavin T

Comments (Add)
R1 also has B-roll - Amanda P