The 2011 romantic comedy “Ceremony” from Magnolia Pictures was written and directed by Max Winkler. Starring: Uma Thurman, Lee Pace, Michael Angarano, Rebecca Mader, Reece Thompson, Jake M. Johnson, Brooke Bloom, Nathalie Love, Harper Dill, Joe Dolinsky, Charlie Moss and Oscar J. Castillo.
Sam (Michael Angarano) is a hopeless romantic and writes children’s books for a living. But Sam is also filled with self-doubt, regret and very lonely. This might be what attracted Zoe (Uma Thurman) to him. When she met Sam, the image that he projected made it was clear to her that he filled a certain need at the time, but he could not give her the security she desperately needed.
When Zoe tells Sam that she is getting married, he invites his best friend Marshall (Reece Thompson) for a weekend to catch up on old times at the beachfront estate owned by the legendary filmmaker Whit Coutell (Lee Pace). Unfortunately, Sam’s invitation is a complete rouse; the real reason he wants Marshall to come with him is to crash Zoe’s wedding.
Sam is totally infatuated with Zoe and plans to win her back from the man she is about to marry. But shortly after their arrival, both Sam and Marshall realize that they are well out of their league surrounded by the distinguished British Whit Coutell and his guests.
Zoe is completely shocked by Sam’s presence and although she has a tender affection for him, she is quite certain that she is making the right choice by marrying Whit. Partly for her own security and partly because of her brother, Teddy (Jake M. Johnson) whose volatile personality is kept subdued by prescription drugs and hard alcohol.
Teddy escorts Sam and Marshall into the wedding and although uninvited, Whit graciously allows them to stay. Whit for his part is so self-centered and self-absorbed that the fact that he is getting married at all is remarkable. Whit is also aware of Sam’s affection for his bride-to-be, almost relishing the mind-game with him, so confident that there is no contest; Zoe will never choose Sam over him.
As the moment for the nuptials approaches, Sam makes a heart-felt, ninth-hour, hail Mary attempt to win Zoe’s heart, only to have Zoe literally slap him out of his fantasy world. As Sam’s plan begins to fall apart, he learns that love and friendship can indeed, be very complicated, heart-breaking matters impossible to understand.