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RSVP Yes to Drunk Wedding


The New York Times doesn’t typically report on video-on-demand movies. Yet, The Times recently did just that, chronicling the behind-the-scenes squabbling about the distribution of Drunk Wedding. Paramount apparently came incredibly close to widely releasing the micro-budget film.

Since you may not yet have seen, or even heard about this NSFW ensemble comedy, I called director Nick Weiss (a college friend), and asked him to tell me about his second full-length film:

Describe Drunk Wedding.

It’s about a group of friends who haven’t seen each other since college. They reunite in Nicaragua, as the first in their group of friends gets married, and insanity and hilarity ensue.

On a scale of American Pie (male friendship and humor) to Bridesmaids (female friendship and humor), where does Drunk Wedding fit?

There’s a bit more attention paid to the guys, but I’d like to think it’s 2/3 male-oriented, 1/3 the other way. When we previewed the movie, we were very pleased that even though the movie was a lot of traditional male humor, women responded very well to the set pieces, like the bachelorette party, and girls’ friendships. One comment we got repeatedly from test audiences was that this could be a good date movie. That was gratifying, because my brother and I thought about it as we were putting it together.

Is a wedding when a boy becomes a man?

What weddings and marriage mean are very personal and different for every person. A person’s 20s and 30s are formative. For many people, the process of deciding if, and who, you want to spend the rest of your life with and making a serious commitment about that publicly is a huge moment. It’s moving from a lot of open possibilities to a more specific version of your life.

“There’s that moment when you suddenly realize that you’re ready to let all these other things go, because they’re not important to you.”

Meeting somebody and feeling compelled to say this person, this partnership, is the form I want the rest of my life to take, that’s significant. In a way you’re surrendering yourself and part of your ability to do what you personally want in various situations, for this shared thing that at the outset you don’t really even know what it is. There’s maturity in that.

Here, the groom used to be this big player. I like the idea that he stopped wanting that when he met the bride. I think that rings true. I can only speak to the male experience of it, but for men, there’s that moment when you suddenly realize that you’re ready to let all these other things go, because they’re not important to you, in light of this new relationship that you’ve found.

One character has a long-term girlfriend, whos ready for more. What scares Ivan, and men like him, about putting a ring on it?

I don’t think Ivan’s scared of marriage per se. He’s just out of touch with himself and very immature. One of the great things about that actor was that he brought this great deadpan, emotionally disconnected humor that conveyed that lack of self-awareness.

I’m not sure Ivan speaks to any larger group of men out there, but engagement and marriage can be scary to men or women for a variety of reasons. For the many of us who are happily married, you’re giving form to your life, getting ongoing stable love and connection. But surrender is scary, it just is. That’s something we tried to dramatize in Ivan.

Some characters describe the groom as a player who was tamed by his bride. However, he rejects that characterization. Is it realistic to think of a bride taming her groom?

John wasn’t tamed; that was almost a misdirect. That’s what the bride thinks she’s learning about their relationship during the wedding weekend.

The idea that she tamed him feels demeaning. We wanted to make a story that felt truer and more interesting.

The groom’s past as a crazy player comes out and upsets her not just because she feels a little jealous or because it’s been hidden from her, but it comes up in the context of how she’s a grounded girl.

What he says to her is that’s not what happened at all; I changed myself because I wanted to. The idea that she tamed him feels demeaning. We wanted to make a story that felt truer and more interesting.

How do male viewers react to the suave guys failing with his crush?

Even though he’s a guy with a lot of charm who’s very successful with women, Cal can’t have anyone he wants. It makes him human.

Why is the only guy whos married at the beginning the hen-pecked loser?

We loved Daphne and Phil. Sometimes marriages fall into ruts and can benefit from some shaking up. We thought that those two characters together, going from having a crappy marriage to a hot marriage over this weekend was really funny.

Should we be surprised by how Daphne and Phil get their groove back?

Phil is completely passive and afraid. Daphne is domineering but pretty vocal from the beginning that she wishes things were different. When he starts to act like a fully formed adult, that’s when she can start to respect him, and comedically, that’s when she gets turned on by him. They are both very much comedic characters.

What do you like best about being married?

I like lots of things. I’m 36 now, and I remember thinking the day I got married that now we would be a family. We have two small kids, so now we’re a more traditional family. It’s a home we all have together, a geographic and emotional spot that’s our spot together.

It’s also nice to not feel alone in the world when you’re going through something hard and you need somebody to talk to without being judged, or you’re going through something great and you want someone to celebrate and be purely happy with you. It’s a great pleasure, it really is.

Does the movie in any way reflect your real life?

It’s important to my wife that I be very clear that his has no relation to our real wedding. The one exception — one of the characters mentioned in her wedding toast that the groom makes coffee every day for the bride, even though he doesn’t drink it. The actress heard that about me and improvised it.

Our wedding was pretty standard, nothing crazy happened. Thank G-d.

Where can readers watch Drunk Wedding?

It’s available on a variety of VOD outlets including iTunes, Amazon, and Verizon on Demand.