Wedding vets mine couple’s chaos for laughs in ‘Breakup’

For the CDTApril 12, 2013 

Anna Martemucci has a lot on her plate right now. The State College-raised actress, writer, producer and semi-newlywed is promoting her newest film (and first feature), the comedy “Breakup at a Wedding,” directed by her husband, Victor Quinaz. She is traversing the country while simultaneously juggling new scripts, ideas and the concept of marital bliss. Tenured veterans of a seemingly infinite number of weddings recently, Martemucci and Quinaz are perfectly poised to detail the horror, neurosis and nerves that usually accompany the exchanging of vows, the overpriced DJ and the open bar.

Focusing on an engaged couple who break up on the night of their rehearsal dinner and decide to fake their wedding for the benefit of everyone except them, “Breakup” takes the unique approach of capturing the comedic chaos through the lens of the wedding videographer’s camera. And although Martemucci and Quinaz may not have directly dealt with a couple calling it quits the night before they were to become one, the unnecessary pressure and stress of an event like this is almost always in abundance, no matter how much is planned to combat it.

“After talking to so many brides and grooms we thought, ‘This is hilarious. Why do people get crazy over trying to celebrate something that is so simple?’ ” Quinaz said while discussing the origin of the film, “And we thought that this is perfect, we can write from a firsthand experience.”

“I think that a lot of people will agree with me in that being engaged is one of the most stressful periods of time in your life,” Martemucci said, laughing, “What should be this wonderful, great thing all of the sudden casts you with planning the ultimate celebration of your personality and if you’re a neurotic kind of person it can be hectic.”

After finding success with short films and Internet videos, including the founding of “Period Films,” a Web-based costume comedy series, Martemucci and Quinaz felt that branching out into features was the next logical step and considering the slew of weddings that they’ve either attended or have been in, the idea of an unconventional wedding film was almost begging them to be made.

“The film came to fruition from us making much smaller movies over a period of two years and we had so much fun doing that which in turn led to us saying ‘Hey, we should all continue to work together,’ which then led to ‘Let’s go ahead and write feature films,” Martemucci said.

“We had this idea of saying ‘what’s next?’ and we flirted with a few different ideas, possibly television and then we had this incredible team where we learned the shorthand of comedy and style that was really low budget but at the same time very aesthetically effective and fun and beautiful,” Quinaz said, “We said, ‘Well, how can we parlay that into something that we can have the most kind of creative control and fun with it,’ and that ultimately became the movie.”

Distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories (“Meek’s Cutoff,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop,”) which was founded by the late Adam Yauch (MCA of the Beastie Boys), the State College screening of “Breakup at a Wedding” will see Martemucci and Quinaz donating all the proceeds to The State Theatre.

“To be completely honest, growing up in State College you can feel a little left out as a person who’s not that into football, so The State Theatre to me was always a beacon,” Martemucci said, “So we’re thrilled to be making this donation.”

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