Kiss the Bride

Vanessa Parise

One of the cardinal rules in romantic cinema is if a man says the words “let me cook for you” before concocting a succulent dish for the female object of his affection, it makes no difference whether or not he is the leading lady’s boyfriend since he no doubt will be by the end of the film. In Kiss the Bride, by writer/director Vanessa Parise, the man in question is Tom Terranova (Sean Patrick Flannery in a supporting role), a chef of a small but classy restaurant who gets a second chance to secure the love of his dream small town girl turned TV actress Niki Sposato (Brooke Langton) when she returns to her small seaside community in Rhode Island for the wedding of her little sister Dani (Amanda Detmer) to Geoff (Johnathon Schaech). Drawing from her own Italian American heritage and setting the piece in her Rhode Island hometown, Harvard educated Parise who took a deferment from medical school to pursue a career in the arts, shows up as Chrissy, the eldest of the four Sposato sisters who, like the other women in the family, finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Rounding out the family is rebellious and flamboyant Toni (Monet Mazur) who decides that the best way to shock parents Talia Shire and Burt Young is by bringing home a newly acquired girlfriend (Alyssa Milano), which predictably steals some of the thunder out from what should otherwise have been sweet, virginal homebody Dani’s week of marital preparations. Winner of multiple awards at film festivals including San Jose, Hamptons, Rhode Island and Sarasota’s festivals, Parise’s charming yet slightly stereotypical and predictably forgettable chick flick has enough likability embodied in the earnest young cast (including a great turn by Parise herself) to make it successful cable TV fare.