Movie Marketing Madness: Confetti

I love British romantic comedies. While many of the plot points might be shared with their American counterparts, the Brits approach the genre with a different sensibility that gives them a whole new feel that’s a breath of fresh air sometimes. The British value wordplay and manners so much more than we Yanks do and that leads to some extremely entertaining flicks.

I also love Christopher Guest’s series of “mockumentaries.” The way he assembles such a talented group of actors, gives them a bare-bones but fully developed plot that they’re then free to do with what they please is just a joy to watch. These movies combine real acting, comedy and improvisation, all three of which are extremely hard in their own right.

So I’m pretty interested in Confetti, since it seems to be a mix of the two above ingredients. The movie is about a wedding magazine publishing team that decides to seek out couples who have a crazy idea for their wedding, which one character says may be something “they regret for the rest of their lives” and help them bring that vision to fruition. According to the Fox Searchlight blog, the movie was shot like the Guest films by allowing the actors to engage in actual improvisation but it is shot in the same manner, like a documentary crew is following around this group of crazy people and filming the insanity.

The Poster

Pretty uneventful but definitely bright and not bad at getting the movie’s plot across. It simply shows an ornate, multi-layer wedding cake. What tips you off as to the plot is the presence of a half-dozen tiny figures on the cake that seem to be duking it out and fighting each other. It might take the viewer getting up close to the poster in order to make out what’s really going on but that’s alright.

The Trailer

As a means of conveying the plot of the movie and introducing us to the characters in, this trailer works extraordinarily well. We’re shown the three couples that are vying to have their dream wedding planned for them. One couple wants it to have a Broadway musical theme, one is a pair of super-competitive tennis players and one is a couple of nudists. If you’re a fan of the original BBC version of “The Office” you’ll recognize Martin Freeman, who played Tim on the show, as the male half of the musical couple, which is fantastic. All and all it’s a funny trailer that shows the movie to be a light, fluffy concoction, albeit one with heart. There are lots of jokes that revolve around the nudists and a few about the other couples as well as the people on the outskirts of the plot. One example is the guy who runs the wedding magazine states in an interview he believes people should have quiet, simple weddings without a lot of interference.

Online

It’s a bit surprising for a movie like this that there’s so much content on the official website. Even more surprising is that the studio, Fox Searchlight, would go through the effort to create an HTML-based “site lite” as I call it in addition to the tricked-out Flash version.

On that initial site is quite a bit of content, though it’s a bit stripped down from what we’ll find in the ful site. “About” is just a brief synopsis, “ Cast & Crew” just gives you pictures of the actors and crew, the “Trailer” is available and you can go to the Fox Searchlight “Message Boards” for the movie. Also, in a fun but ultimately useless little feature you can control the amount of confetti that falls on the page. I have no idea why this is here but it made me giggle and that’s cool. There are also two features that I’ll dive into a bit later.

Moving into the full site, I’m surprised by the fact that someone, the agency that built this site, actually did something fun and kind of cool with Flash. It doesn’t happen that often and is worth noting when it does. The background to the site is a stained-glass window representation of Heron & Hough, the wedding planners in the movie. That right there makes this site twice as cool as most others. In fact, the whole site seems to be an extension of the movie by seeming to be Heron & Hough’s official website. At least that’s how the content is presented, which works far better than most other movies that try this approach.

One note: There are two levels of sections you can enter on the site. There’s a bit of duplication in some of those so I’m going to try and mention that when I’ve found that to be the case.

“Top Ten Tips” is a magazine spread featuring H&H in Confetti magazine that you can flip through to learn their philosophy on planning a wedding. The last time I saw this sort of feature, with a flippable magazine, was on the site for Miss Congeniality 2 but this works much better than that, largely because it’s played tongue-in-cheek here and not so seriously like on MC2. This magazine-like feature is also available by clicking “All About Us,” though that section also has in it some film clips.

More film clips can be found in “Confetti Couples” as well as a profile of each couple. This section is reproduced under “Our Portfolio.” You’ll find the trailer under “Our Film” and the usual array of goodies for downloading under “ Letters & Goodies.”

Naked Trampolining, DIY Face Lift, Your Big Day Wedding O-Matic

Overall

Weddings are such a common plot device for comedic films, and yet so few of them do anything overly original with the concept. Most of the time it’s all about a woman who doesn’t know what she wants but then finds Mr. Right to be someone she couldn’t stand at the beginning of the film. So it’s nice to see a movie that doesn’t take the idea of a wedding and then find the lowest form of humor that can be wrung from the material. Confetti looks like a sweet movie that draws it’s humor simply by showing what fools we mortals be and how planning that one day takes a completely disproportionate amount of time and energy.

The trailer and poster both sell the film accurately and well and the website compliments the campaign nicely. I don’t see it being successful at drawing in a crowd that isn’t predisposed to this type of film, meaning that I don’t see it being a crossover hit. But people who enjoy British comedies of manners will surely latch onto this one.

Round-up: 9/12/06

  • Jon Stewart returns after a well-deserved vacation and lays into Bush and the fact that, after five years, we still haven’t caught Osama Bin Laden.
  • Keith Olberman returns to Ground Zero in New York and lays into Bush and that fact that, after five years, we still haven’t done a damm thing with the big whole in the ground he’s responsible for.
  • Yes, the talking point by Tony Snow and other bobble-heads have been spouting that Bush’s address last night “wasn’t political,” is bullshit. Every speech he gives is political and self-serving. Shame on the press for not calling them on it.