The ghost of Princess Diana Spencer will forever be inspiration for conspiracy documentaries, tribute documentaries, fictional accounts made by filmmakers inside and outside of the UK. But this Norwegian dramedy about a dysfunctional couple’s marriage seen through the eyes of their daughter is at least a refreshing take and in some very small way, a homage to Diana.
In 1981, the Royal Wedding of the century took place, Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. On the same day in a small town in Norway, Liv and Terje also got married and moved into their new home with their infant daughter, Diana. Like her namesake, Diana would face a chaotic life in the years ahead, mostly due to her erratic parents.
Dysfunctional family stories are usually the most fun to watch as you know you are guaranteed chaos, outbursts and the unexpected expected shenanigans that come with that description. Diana’s Wedding is not a rare or unusual story to be told but it is an energetic and every bit the nostalgia trip through a childhood. With the clothes, the music, the art and the behaviours of the parents, there is a lot to enjoy about this comedic family drama that plays out like an adaptation of a biography. Although the film is named after Diana, the film is more about her parents. The focus being on their marriage and parenting skills which they both lack. Their neighbours, the unhappy housewife Unni and the distant Jan, also play a major part in Diana’s story, as the families becomes close friends and the children grow up together. Both set of parents are shown to have terrible parenting skills throughout and unclear whether we are meant to judge them or feel sorry for the children trapped with this adults who don’t know what they’re doing.
Choosing to focus in on Liv and Terje’s relationship instead of Diana, the film ends up becoming a manual on how not to conduct a marriage in the eyes of Diana and Irene, Unni and Jan’s daughter, ideals carried over into adulthood. Despite the fighting and arguments, they always make up and fall in love all over again. This marriage is compared to Unni and Jan who sleep in separate rooms, don’t share any ideals or heartfelt moments, not without Unni trying. These marriages are not the key point of the story but also the climax, hence the title of the film.
Director Charlotte Blom, who also co-wrote the script, has created a story with a rollercoaster of emotions, which is what is expected when it comes to any film about a family, adding in the dysfunction just makes it a delight to watch.
Diana’s Wedding is available on digital download now