The Decoy Bride is a 2011 British romantic comedy film written by comedian Sally Phillips and Neil Jaworski, and starring David Tennant, Alice Eve and Kelly Macdonald and set on the fictional island of Hegg, supposedly located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The film was made by Ecosse Films.
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Lara Tyler (Alice Eve) is one of the most famous film stars around, but all she wants to do is marry her fiancé, writer James Arber (David Tennant). After a supposedly secret traditional church wedding is interrupted by paparazzi Marco Ballani (Federico Castelluccio), hiding in a cabinet at the altar, with Lara chasing him away, she and James become desperate to find someplace unknown and wed in peaceful bliss. Besieged by the press, especially Ballani, who is obsessed with Lara, they escape to the tiny Scottish island of Hegg. Ballani somehow manages to get to the island, and then local girl Katie's (Kelly Macdonald) mother alerts the press (for money). Lara discovers all this, becomes upset and hides away. In desperation her management team, led by Steve Korbitz (Michael Urie), decide to stage a fake wedding, hoping the paparazzi will fall for the scam and leave the island. Katie, nursing a broken heart because of her latest break-up, is recruited to pretend to be a heavily-veiled Lara to complete the charade. Subsequent circumstances lead to Katie and James falling in love.
David Tennant said that the film was an homage to the 1983 Scotland-set film Local Hero. The fictional island of Hegg was inspired by Jura and Eigg. It received the largest grant possible from Scottish Screen, £300,000.
Rehearsals started in London on 21 June 2010. Filming began on 27 June on the Isle of Man, before moving to Scotland. Filming ended on 31 July 2010. Many of the outdoor scenes were filmed on the Isle of Man while other scenes were filmed in Glasgow and at the Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries and by Loch Fyne in Argyll.
Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times liked the film, praising the performance by Tennant and Macdonald and the mocking of celebrity culture. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter called the film a "bland romantic comedy in the Richard Curtis style" but praises Macdonald's performance and concludes that her performance makes the film tolerable.
The A.V. Club's Alison Willmore gave the film a "D+", criticizing that the talented cast and pretty scenery cannot save the film from the fact that it is "inescapably based on how romantic it is that someone would throw over his doting, famous fiancée for an ordinary girl" even though the story does not convey any reasons why this should happen. Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice called it a "pernicious tripe suitable only for masochists and the intellectually disabled" and notes that "the supposedly frothy tone is tarry and flavorless, and the drill is painfully familiar".