Moroccan Wedding Review – Review on FilmTotaal

Direction: Johan Nijenhuis | Scenario: Aliefka Bijlsma | cast: Soumaya Ahouaoui (Yasmine), Walid Benmbarek (Samir), Nabil Aoulad Ayad (Ibrahim), Nora El Koussour (Hanan), Pip Pellens-Wessels (Tamara), ao | Playing time: 118 minutes | Year: 2022

When Johan Nijenhuis in 2020 The Legs of Saint Hildegard directed – after the screenplay by Herman Finkers – the director seemed to have broken with his formula of easygoing humor and flat characters. This was a film with a fresh, absurdist plot and well-lived characters. Nijenhuis himself reacted with surprise to the success. The Legs of Saint Hildegard It was about a faded marriage. How could this attract such a wide audience? Two years later, Nijenhuis is back with the romantic comedy Moroccan Wedding† Any hope that he will continue the level of his previous film evaporates after the first few minutes.

Yasmine has just graduated as a lawyer. She is of course very proud of that, but Yasmine’s family would rather see her in a white dress, accompanied to the altar, where a handsome and rich Moroccan man is waiting for her. In a flashback we see how Yasmine’s parents try to marry her off. It was not a success. Why? Yasmine wore glasses (nerd alarm!) and had just eaten a chocolate chip cookie, which left her teeth full of dark sweets. Yes, the guys really get off on that. Years later, luck finally seems to smile on her when she meets a charming surgeon (Nabil Aoulad Nayal). But is this guy with sweet words, expensive car and tight suits really the one? Or is the mysterious and introverted auto mechanic (Walid Benmbarek) better?

The keyword of Moroccan Wedding is ‘marry’. Nijenhuis milks this word for almost two hours for a series of jokes that either kill or provide vicarious shame. Two Moroccan guys fighting each other in a law firm? That’s romantic because they’re fighting over a girl! The biggest problem ever? A wedding that must be kept small per se. According to this film, women only dream about the perfect wedding dress and their prince on the white horse. The characters will undoubtedly have other ambitions, after two hours those ambitions remain very well hidden.

Perhaps the worst part is that a talented cast has to work with this material. Benmbarek’s intensity burned through the screen Mocro Mafia, here he hardly gets the chance to let his talent shine. The same goes for Nora El Koussour, who was able to bite into a dramatic, complex role in the same series. Pellens comes from the soap world, but is very much reduced here to an empty-headed girl, whose identity remains unclear. Ahouaoui, who gained experience in the theater, also deserves more than this easy writing. The only one that fits perfectly is Nayad. Perhaps because he plays his role of Gladjanus very convincingly.

It is no problem at all if Nijenhuis wants to make a public film and offer pure entertainment. It is a problem if he directs that public film on autopilot. Definitely coming from the second half Moroccan Wedding into a downward spiral of cringe-inducing ‘humour’. No taste, irony or sjeu. More of an easy way to sell as many movie tickets as possible. Please let Nijenhuis work with Finkers again next time.

Leave a Comment