The only thing to come between a groom and his bride is a family of misfits and the love of his life.
It’s a family affair.
Sex, love, lies and vodka.
Love, lies & vodka.
Director: Amanda Jane
Writer: Christine Bartlett and Amanda Jane
Co-starring: Josh Lawson (as Steve), Steve Bisley (as Roger), Rhonda Burchmore (as Cheryl), Nadine Garner (as Lisa), Essie Davis (as Jane), Kestie Morassi (as Jacqui)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Filming: Filmed in Melbourne from April 20th to June 6th 2009.
Box Office: Grossed AU$8542 upon its opening weekend across 3 screens in Australia. Since going wider, has made a total of AU$162,905.
A warm-hearted and upbeat romantic comedy that dares to paint a family portrait of a most unusual kind in which Isabel Lucas plays Ana Petrov, an impossibly beautiful young Russian woman who flees Russia, desperate to stay in Australia with the man she loves. It’s a story about the Thompsons, a family whose individual love lives range from deviant to delicious to downright desperate. Deep in debt, the youngest son, Steve (Josh Lawson), agrees to marry the beautiful Russian girl Ana for cash. But when his plans for a secret registry affair are discovered by his family, Steve finds himself at the centre of the world’s most farcical wedding, and any notion of convenience is well and truly out the window. The only problem is, Steve is in love with someone else.
June 10th 2010 December 1st 2010 2011? Autumn (March/April/May) 2012 May 3rd 2012 October 11th 2012
US – 2013
DVD (US) – June 19th 2013
• Isabel learnt some Russian for this role (accent and dialogue). She said it was a big challenge for her, but to help research it she wanted as many Russian films as she could find, listened to Russian music, and made contact with Russian friends of friends and went through dialogue with them.
• Previously known as Kin. It’s name was changed in June 2010 due to people mishearing it and thinking it was called ‘Kim’ or ‘King’, but also because the director Amanda Jane wanted something that better reflected the entertaining and fun aspects of the film.
• Opened the Melbourne International Film Festival on July 22nd 2010. Isabel said she was delighted to be there for it!
• Opened the Australian Film Festival in March 2011.
• When asked if the film was like an Australian version of Love Actually, Isabel said that was pretty accurate, and that it was like a “Melbourne-y version”.
• Isabel said she had a “wonderful” time shooting and that it was fun to be back in Melbourne. She also loved working as part of an ensemble.
• Actor Bill Hunter, who played Isabel’s character’s grandfather in The Pacific, has a role in this film as the Priest.
• Isabel was nominated for Best Actress at the New York City International Film Festival 2011 for her performance in this movie.
• Isabel was honoured with the Best Hollywood Newcomer award at the Beverly Hills Film, TV & New Media Festival in 2011, in part for her role in this movie. Co-star Josh Lawson received the same award.
• The film was re-cut and shown to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.
• Isabel’s favourite scenes in the movie are the bath scene, and the scene where all the women go out for dinner. Isabel said that dinner scene was difficult because their characters were meant to be awkward around each other, but they all got along really well together!
• Describes Ana and Steve’s kiss at the altar as “beautifully awkward”, and says she had to stop herself from laughing during the filming of it!
» Isabel Lucas – “It’s like an ensemble cast, with a collection of stories, characters, all focussing on relationships.”
» Isabel Lucas – “The Wedding Party is very focussed on the story and characters and I really enjoy that, I find it very fulfilling.”
» Isabel Lucas – “It was enjoyable. The situation was kind of, in the film the character didn’t necessarily want to be getting married so it was kind of awkwardly funny and that made for the drama. It was a beautiful wedding dress as well!” (on filming the wedding scene)
» Isabel Lucas – “They were wonderful. It was wonderful to be home and shooting with an Aussie crew and everyone from Melbourne.” (on the crew and shooting in Australia again)
» Isabel Lucas – “I’m a perfectionist, especially with work, and I wanted Russian people to be watching it and feeling like ‘Oh, that’s ok, I believe her.'” (on mastering the Russian accent)
» Isabel Lucas – “Ana is a Russian girl, from Omsk. [She is] very determined, with good intentions though. She’s very in love, and she’s trying to help Vlad from being drafted. She’s the one who stays really centered and keeps it really together, and keeps the two guys committed to what they’re doing.”
» Isabel Lucas – “I think one of the hardest things working on the film was trying to not laugh at Josh all the time, just having to hold it in, hold it together!”
» Isabel Lucas – “This is really special and I’m delighted to be here. It feels great for The Wedding Party to be picked up in the States. We all felt passionate about the script, and it’s wonderful that Film Festival Flix takes Indy, underdog films. This really was a love project for us.” (speaking at the US premiere for the film in 2013)
» Amanda Jane (director) – “We had the title in the back of our minds for a lonn time, as an alternative title. We decided to change it because the film is entertaining, fun, and we wanted a title that suited those aspects more. It’s full of music, a fantastic cast and great comic actors.”
currently none available
• ABC.net.au: “The Wedding Party is a good try – at times quite funny, with stabs at seriousness and potentially fascinating characters. But it looks like it needed a few more script drafts, a few more months work, and about 20 minutes chopped off. The premise is good: beautiful Russian woman Anna (a very competent Isabel Lucas) arranges to marry hapless Steve (a rather mannered Josh Lawson) so she gets residency and he gets out of debt.”
• Screen Daily: “The film was part funded by MIFF’s own Premiere Fund and the humour, its affectionate tone and the terrific ensemble cast made for an entertaining light-hearted start to the seriously regarded annual event. The film’s message, that all will be well in matters of love if honesty prevails, proved heart-warming on a cold night. Maintaining momentum throughout was the problem. Too many stories made the overall length excessive. That said, a dynamic debut filmmaking team has been born.”
• SBS.com.au: “The Wedding Party may well have been a better film if the underdone premise of the fake wedding had been done away with altogether, because the movie is more interesting when it picks at the foibles and fears that gather around these couples. It has risqué moments that are actually resonant.”
• AnchoragePress.com: “Isabel Lucas seems convincingly Russian. […] The gestalt and humor of The Wedding Party are sometimes awkward, but always amusing and often funny. Jane created the story and screenwriter Christine Bartlett wrote the script. Another woman, Nicole Minchin, holds the producers slot. This is an adult date film, and it’s expertly done. AIFF audience has come from that from Screen Australia, a government program that includes artist development in its subsidies. And I’d be willing to bet on this: No trio of men could have made this film.”
• Variety: “Lawson’s deft comic timing and chemistry with the vivacious Morassi are thesping standouts, while Melbourne native Lucas gamely maintains an authentic-sounding Russian accent.”
Isabel did some promotion for The Wedding Party in July 2010, when it received it’s world premiere at the Melbourne Film Festival. She attended the red carpet premiere at the Melbourne Film Festival on July 22nd 2010, and was interviewed on the Australian Sunrise TV show on that same day. She did no promotion for the film upon its Australian theatrical release in 2012, but did attend a low-key US premiere for it in April 2013.
• News & Updates for The Wedding Party at Isabel Lucas Online