Running Time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Max Winkler
Starring: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace
Ceremony is an indie rom-com which follows 20-something, Sam (Angarano) who decides to crash the wedding reception of the love of his life, Zoe (Thurman). He tricks his best friend, Marshall (Thompson) to go on a weekend trip, only to find themselves at the reception. Whit (Pace), Zoe’s fiancé, unfazed by Sam’s arrival, invited him and Marshall to join them for the weekend and wedding. Determine to get Zoe back, Sam sets out to break Zoe’s engagement to Whit before the wedding ceremony.
Ceremony is Winkler’s directorial debut which turned out to be surprisingly entertaining and a decent rom-com. Filled with awkward situations that a man-child could get into when trying to sabotage an engagement, Ceremony reminded me of Wes Anderson’s early films, especially Rushmore, and Noah Baumbach-styled films. With a protagonist like Sam, the film is filled with the exploration of how foolish and naïve we could be in our 20s, in this case, Sam’s view on love.
I thought the casting was on point, with Angarano’s self-deprecating deliverance as Sam, Thurman’s solid performance as the flaky Zoe, Thompson as Sam’s observant and pushover best friend, and Pace’s convincing performance as the arrogant, self-assured, award-winning documentary filmmaker/Zoe’s fiancé Whit. Each character has their own flaws, yet these actors did a fine job in making these characters empathetic and comedic whenever the scene called for it.
Overall, Ceremony is a quirky indie rom-com that keeps the tone of the film light while leaving subtle hints through the film of how one learns about loving another.
Rating: 6 out of 10