‘Diana’s Wedding’ Is An Untraditional Rom-Com, For Better And For Worse: Review

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★★★✰✰

Directed by Charlotte Blom, Diana’s Wedding will show you the true face of marriage, and it’s not anything like the one we see in popular rom-coms.

It’s 29 July 1981, and despite many doubts, Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles. On the same day, in a small village in Norway, Liv (Marie Blokhus) and Terje (Pål Sverre Hagen) pledge their love. The ceremony is also attended by their newborn daughter Diana, named after the Princess of Wales.

The film goes on to show us their marriage and the upbringing of their kids. It’s made up of both happy marital moments, and plenty which are quite the opposite. The fights between Liv and Terje come to the fore, and their tumultuous relationship has a massive impact on their children’s lives. Their marriage is rocky from the beginning; after all, life with a small child isn’t easy. However, the honeymoon really ends when they meet new neighbours. Unni (Jannike Kruse) and Jan (Olav Waastad) share their recipe for happiness: the husband should sleep on the couch in the living room, so that at least one person won’t be condemned to sleepless nights. The next time Terje can’t sleep due to the baby’s crying, he decides to spend the night in the car, much to his wife’s dissatisfaction.

The really awkward part of this film, though, is that its scenes are interspersed with scenes from the life of—guess who—Princess Diana. The idea is understandable: it’s meant to connect these two very different worlds, and show that nobody’s life is perfect. Ordinary people can have issues in their personal lives, and so can a princess. And yes, many people loved (and still love) Diana. Still, showing the reactions of some random people in Norway to her death makes the whole thing seem a little bit overdone. 

What’s even more depressing, though, is that this film might be classed as a comedy, but it didn’t make me laugh even once. Perhaps the point is to show that real life is not a traditional rom-com, and relationships without quarrels don’t exist. Both of these things are true—but still. Watching someone insulting their spouse, calling them a bitch or a cunt, yelling at them in front of the kids and banging on the door in the middle of the night, seems unlikely to be much fun for many audiences. 

Signe Marie Stivang does a great job playing a young Diana, to the point of being one of the best actors in the film. Her disgust, sadness, and fear are portrayed so believably, most viewers will really feel awful for the poor kid. They’ll also be touched by Diana’s relationship with her younger brother: a classic case of the older sibling caring for the younger, and doing everything possible to stop them from being a frequent witness to difficult situations.

Contrary to appearances, however, this isn’t a film about Diana; it’s more about her parents and their relationships, and how they affect her and her brother. This eventually leads to Diana’s own wedding which, according to her, will surely be destroyed by her parents. It’s a powerful moment, as Diana (Ine Willman) tells her parents how bad their relationship’s influence on her has been, not wanting her own marriage to resemble theirs. And really, who can blame her?

If anyone asks me why I don’t want to get married in the future, I’ll tell them to watch this movie. Love is beautiful, yes, but it’s not indestructible. The ending shows that those Liv and Terje really love each other, true, but it doesn’t make their relationship any less toxic. Personally, I wouldn’t like to be stuck in a situation like that.

Verdict:

It’s nice to see a little bit of reality in a movie based on interpersonal relationships, and this dramatic rom-com should definitely should be shown to young adults who believe in fairy-tale life. Unfortunately, this ‘comedy’ just isn’t that funny; sometimes it’s even a bit slow and tedious. Still, it’s suitable for a lonely night.

Diana’s Wedding will be released on Digital Download on 19 July.

Words by Patrycja Gronert


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