It’s July 29, 1981. In the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles. The same day, another celebration takes place in the canteen of a Norwegian small-town factory. It’s the newly-weds LIV and TERJE’S wedding party. In the pram lies their new-born daughter, DIANA, who, like her famous namesake, will be facing a lot of chaos in the years to come thanks to her parents.
The wedding, and following years, are less glamorous than the royal counterpart, but indisputably much more fun. Through the eyes of Diana, we witness the rollercoaster of her parent’s marriage. To her, they are the worst parents in the world. Miles away from doing a decent job, constantly fighting yet still in love by the time Diana is preparing for her own marriage 30 years later....
- THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD -
Fancy a story brimming with domestic discord rising to emotional catharsis crowned by a raucously chaotic climax?
A wedding movie will always answer your needs. They come in all nationalities. Diana’s Wedding is Norwegian – a family saga which begins when Liv (Marie Blokhus) and Terje (Pal Sverre Hagen) marry on the same day as Prince Charles and Princess Diana. For a while, their sex drive obscures their differences but after their baby, Diana, starts disturbing their sleep, passion is diluted by frequent bursts of vividly expressed irritation.
A highlight of this year’s Scandinavian Film Festival, the film is directed and co-written by Charlotte Blom, who’s made a cheerfully robust job of it. The curses, the hard-drinking and the damage done to the furniture are offset by belly laughs, dirty dancing and a soundtrack built around the disco hits of the era.
The story spans more than 20 years, ending with the young Diana’s wedding, which comes close to being ruined by her parents’ bad behaviour. And it runs in tandem with the unhappy lives of the family’s close neighbours, Unni (Jannike Kruse), Jan (Olav Waastad) and their daughter, Irene (Celine Kathe Foster Engen). Growing up together, Irene and Diana become close friends and perceptive critics of their parents’ mistakes.
It’s a film without pretensions. While Blom inserts bits of archival footage inviting you to compare and contrast the rocky progress of the royal marriage with that of Liv and Terje, she doesn’t labour the point. Nor is she out to craft a particularly penetrating portrait of the pitfalls of a long-running union between two disparate personalities. But she’s come up with a film humming with vitality and performances so gloriously uninhibited that its lack of subtlety never crosses your mind.
- Sandra Hall, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD