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Storyline (warning: spoilers)
The ghost of Princess Diana 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 when 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.
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, with 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 sets of parents are shown to have terrible parenting skills throughout and it is unclear whether we are meant to judge them or feel sorry for the children trapped with these adults who don’t know what they’re doing.
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.