Mara, an ultra-perky aspiring photographer, played with abundant energy and flair by Sarah Hyland, attends weddings of friends and acquaintances. She has no desire to get married at the moment herself, but is open to finding Mr. Right, a difficult task, even in the age of computer matches.
Mara is endlessly bubbly and adept at trying to help others, as when Mara takes over intrusively in a shop run by her friend to convince a soon-to-be bride what gown to wear. A busy atmosphere is created, as Mara drives around Los Angles, chats endlessly on her cell phone and experiments meeting men on line.
Life for her takes a sharp turn when she falls for the handsome Jake, who works in a restaurant and aspires to be a chef. He is played impressively by Tyler James Williams. They quickly and passionately tumble into bed.
Of course, complications intrude. Jake has had a former relationship with the beautiful Nicole (Camille Hyde), and although that has ended, we can suspect that she’ll turn up again. But we know that eventually all will work out for Mara and Jake—it’s that sort of a film.
“The Wedding Year” has been directed by Robert Luketic from a screenplay by Donald Diego. Although the cuteness of Hyland begins to get somewhat tiresome, there are various appealing touches in the film. Jake is African-American but there is no acknowledgment of differences—all is played as just between two people who fall in love.
Another plus: The wedding year also includes a gay marriage between Mara’s friend Alex (Matt Shively) and Zak (Tom Connolly). Much warmth is depicted in their match.
On a comedic note, the cast includes the always funny Wanda Sykes in two roles, one of which is as Jake’s vociferous grandmother, who prefers Nicole and needles Mara with her view that a wife should have plenty of children. An Entertainment Studio Motion Pictures release. Reviewed September 22, 2019.