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Lagunan directs film with small budget but big names

Money from Rob Hedden's independent movie, 'You May Not Kiss the Bride,' an action and romantic comedy, is going toward his next project with Augie Nieto.

October 18, 2012|By Joanna Clay
(Courtesy Rob Hedden )

Laguna Beach resident and director Rob Hedden traded his seaside town for the tropical island of Hawaii for his latest film, "You May Not Kiss the Bride."

The independent film may have only had a $7-million budget but that didn't keep big names from participating in the film, such as Katharine McPhee of "Smash," Rob Schneider, "Brothers and Sisters" star Dave Annable, Mena Suvari of "American Beauty" fame, Kathy Bates, "Borat" star Ken Davitian and Hawaii native Tia Carrere.

It played at South Coast Cinema on Thursday, the first showing in Orange County. The film had its premiere in Honolulu this summer and has been released in nine other cities such as Chicago and Seattle.

Hedden described the film as part action movie, part romantic comedy. Annable, who plays a photographer who shoots comically costumed pets for a living, gets caught up with a Croatian mobster after an encounter at work. The mobster agrees to let bygones be bygones if the photographer marries his Croatian daughter, played by McPhee, so she can get American citizenship.

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The couple is transported to their "honeymoon" in Tahiti, but the fun weekend's tone changes when the mobster's daughter is kidnapped and Annable's character is blamed. With the help of Schneider as a helicopter pilot with an indiscernible foreign accent, Annable hopes to locate his faux wife, for whom he begins to have real feelings.

Davitian, who was Sacha Baron Cohen's sidekick in "Borat," said it wasn't hard to say "yes" to the film.

"I was attracted to the role because I absolutely think Katherine McPhee is awesome. Then I heard we were supposed to shoot in some god forsaken place called Hawaii," Davitian said with a laugh.

Although he plays a mobster, he said the film really shows his soft side because he wants to protect his daughter.

"I wanted to do a film where I would be menacing and sweet at the same time," he said.

Hedden said the film was incredibly lucky to get its cast. At the time, McPhee's film credits included "House Bunny," and Annable was on hiatus from "Brothers and Sisters," a hit ABC drama.

The moment he met them, he said he knew they'd be the perfect leads and could tell they would have successful careers in show business.

Kathy Bates plays Annable's mother in the film. Originally a character that was never going to be seen on film, Hedden decided to cast the part.

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