THE BIG DAY (简单的婚礼) (2018)

Genre: Romance/Comedy
Director: Lee Thean-jeen
Cast: Desmond Tan, Amber An, Hirzi Zulkiflie, Geraldine Gan, Liu Ling Ling, Richard Low, Michael Huang Chung Kun, Zhang Wei, Hong Zhao Rong, Louis Fong, Adele Wong, Rey Phua, Zemily Leaw, Ho Ai Ling, Gadrick Chin
RunTime: 1 hr 24 mins
Rating: PG
Released By: Clover Films, mm2 Entertainment and Golden Village Pictures
Official Website:

Opening Day: 
21 June 2018

Synopsis: Told in reverse chronology, the movie revolves around the nuptial preparation of Su Yu (Amber An), a free-spirited personal trainer and diving instructor and Nuo Yan (Desmond Tan), a modern funeral director. While the former dreams of a simple peaceful wedding, her overbearing in-laws, overzealous Ah Longs and a jealous best friend keeps her from living her dream. The joyful wedding turns to a battleground when the best intentions lead to conflicts and disasters. Will the love birds survive the test of love by family, foes and fate to get married or be torn apart by their differences?

Movie Review:

You’d think weddings are joyous occasions everyone loves to attend. Apparently this isn’t the case – this reviewer knows people who come up with all sorts of excuses going for weddings. However, if weddings are as wacky as the one depicted in this comedy, the outlandish antics just be enough to entice these wedding cynics.

The movie starts with a pretty bride (Taiwanese actress Amber An) fleeing a wedding dinner. The handsome groom (Singaporean actor Desmond Tan) chases after her, and audiences are left wondering what happened prior. Told in flashback sequences, the story reveals why the bride broke down on her big day.

Without giving away too much, let’s just say the wedding banquet involves a disastrous proposal video, a stage game gone wrong, a peeing father in law and porcelain wedding favours. 

Writer director Lee Thean jeen (Bring Back the Dead, Everybody’s Business) conceptualises a screenplay that seemingly works well on paper. Viewers are supposed to be yearning to find out what really happened, but the series of flashbacks play out like scenes in a TV movie. The bride breaks the fourth wall to talk to audiences, but the approach feel somewhat gimmicky after a while – especially when the merc with a mouth does it much better.

There is quite a number of truly amusing sequences though. These involve the groom’s family business of managing funerals and his Taiwanese father in law’s indigenous roots. There is also a hilariously loud best man (YouTube personality Hirzi Zulkiflie) and a jealous bridesmaid (Malaysian singer Geraldine Gan). Some commentaries are made about what weddings mean to different generations, which may strike a chord for couples who have gone through this tedious exercise.

An, who had the honour of being voted the world's sexiest woman in the Taiwanese version of magazine FHM, does a fine job of looking gorgeous here. She has a nice on screen chemistry with Tan, who probably won’t win an acting prize for this role. But hey, the heartthrob is probably thankful that he gets to don tailored suits instead of swallowing raw fish. This, of course, is a reference to the much talked about scene in local TV series When Duty Calls - the 31 year old clinched the Best Actor accolade at this year’s Star Awards for his engaging performance. The ensemble cast also includes the always reliable Liu Ling Ling and Richard Low (whom we wish had more screen time), as well as Taiwanese actor singer Michael Huang.

Running at less than one and a half hours, the movie could have included one more flashback sequence to entertain viewers. You know the comedy is coming to an end when things get fuzzy and mushy – the couple come to their senses and deliver a heartwarming speech about being there for each other, thanking everyone who made their big day possible… you get the idea. Viewers who are hoping to be surprised by a twist will only find a predictably plotted conclusion. Maybe this is the exact reason why there are people who shun weddings at all costs.

Movie Rating:

(A lightweight and breezy comedy that will please Desmond Tan and Amber An’s fans)  

Review by John Li


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