'Happy Ever Afters' is a frantically paced, screwball comedy that is engaging and amusing, without being out-and-out hilarious.
The action takes place in a Dublin hotel, as two wedding receptions are double booked in the same venue. Both weddings are rife with complications already, and the combination of the two means the proceedings quickly descend into chaos.
Neurotic groom Freddie (Riley) has a lot on his hands with his highly strung wife Sophie (Yourell) - who he is marrying for the second time. However, he has even more to worry about from her pushy parents - a manipulative mother and menacing father - who complicate their big day.
Meanwhile, feisty single mother Maura (Hawkins) has agreed to marry African immigrant Wilson (Bakare) for a sum of money, so that she and her daughter will not be evicted from their home. It all is going swimmingly until two immigration detectives, suspicious of the union, get involved.
The plot plays out in the most frenzied way possible, with much spirited physical comedy and ridiculous situations. This is both the strength and the downfall of the film. Despite excellent performances all round, particularly from Sinéad Maguire as Maura's daughter, it's hard to get truly emotionally involved with the characters.
First-time director Stephen Burke has set out to make an old-school, slapstick comedy, which he has succeeded at, although there are too few genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. That said, the action is never boring and it keeps you interested to the end. The fine cast, led by recent Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins, do much to rescue the unremarkable script.
An unexceptional, but endearing, comedy of errors that is sure to keep St Stephen's Day audiences more than entertained.