Never heard of The Decoy Bride? Don’t worry I never did before the other day when I found it. I adore Kelly MacDonald in HBO’s show Boardwalk Empire (she plays Margaret Schroder) and I got curious to see what else she was in before the show. The Decoy Bride was one of her films I found a ton of screen caps and still of so I decided to give the movie a shot. The movie is a romantic comedy which I have sworn off unless Katharine Heigl or Jennifer Garner is in one but Kelly MacDonald is such a good actress I could not pass it up. Let me say I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Actress Lara Tyler and writer James Arber (David Tennant) are trying to get married. Lara has been hounded by the press for as long as she has been famous so all she wants is a private wedding with no press, no fans, and most importantly no photographers. Actress and writer almost tie the knot but Lara catches a paparazzo hiding in an organ and chases after him. Lara comes up with the idea of getting married on the small Scottish island of Hegg where James set his only novel The Ornithologist’s Wife. Lara loves the book and quotes all the time. James cannot remember what he wrote and to top it all off he has never been to the island he just Googled it. Lara’s press manager/agent fixes a castle up to make it look like the castle in the book in a matter of days. The manager also made it seem like the wedding party/entourage was a marketing convention so none of the press would get a hold of where the wedding would be.
Hegg native Katie (MacDonald) comes back to the island after giving an online men’s trouser catalogue located in Edinburgh a try. She was once engaged to a man named Angus who was a musician and told her that not all the songs are about her. Katie realized that Angus was not for her and has been left with a broken heart. She swears off men and never wants to think of wedding or men for a very long time. Katie is asked by one of the locals if she would like to write a guidebook of Hegg. She takes it as a joke because there is nothing remotely interesting on the island to bring people there. But she goes along with the idea and while she taking notes on an old public restroom that is apparently haunted by a cow she runs into James. She does not know that James is the author of The Ornithologist’s Wife and she talks about how the book was not that good since he is holding it in his hands.
While on a run Lara spots the paparazzo who always shows up wherever she is. Lara freaks out and runs away to hide. No one can find her so her agent decides to use Katie as a decoy. Katie reluctantly gives in when the agent offers her a lot of money, money which she could use to help her terminally ill mother travel around the world. The plan does not go smoothly at all right from the start. When the agent brings Katie and James back to the castle he has them locked in a room together to keep the press who have now surged upon the small town in the dark that Lara is missing.
Meanwhile, Katie’s mother has caught on that there is no marketing conference that it is really Lara and James’s wedding. She is the one who calls the press and has them to the island. Lara found a small house and excellently made herself look like an old Scottish lady. She finds out what Katie’s mother has done and wheel her to the edge of a cliff. The mother has to either give up the money or go over the edge. Hopefully you know the mother throws the money. Lara realizes that the wife in James’s book was based off of Katie’s mother and that just so happens to be her favorite character and Lara winds up really liking the mother.
Technically Katie and James were married in the church so now they are stuck together as husband and wife. They trek to the local priest who claims by old law that if they do not consummate the marriage by nightfall they were never considered married.
A few months later James has written a one chapter book (Katie told him she was going to wind up being a chapter in his book not his whole book) which he dedicated to his wife and Katie has written the Hegg guidebook and it has surprisingly become a big hit. Katie was going to go off and travel some more when she sees James going to shore. She goes to him and he tells her that the agent made it seem like he and Lara were married but they never were so the wife he was referring to was Katie.
And just like any predictable rom-com Katie and James wind up together.
What can always separate a bad movie from a good movie is the acting. And what makes this typical rom-com so good and fun to watch is the acting by every actor in the movie. Also the story was very good and it was set in Scotland and not in New York or California. I loved how Katie was not a stressed out business woman in a big city she was a relatable woman with real relationship problems… even though she was thrown into an unbelievable circumstance.
Kelly MacDonald was adorable and funny. I love seeing her as this serious woman in a not so great situation on Boardwalk Empire and then seeing her as this cute normal Scottish woman. She is a very good actress with great talent. David Tennant I do not believe I have ever seen in a movie before. I have heard of him because I know a lot of Dr. Who fans. He did not bother me but I felt the part could have been played by someone better. Tennant reminded me too much of Hugh Grant with his stammering and bumbling all over the place and I hate that.
The Decoy Bride is currently on Netflix and I absolutely recommend finding it because it is a fun romantic comedy. It does not make you want to smack your head against the wall with its dullness at the end, it makes you want to watch it again because it was different and it never gets out of hand.