In this day and age with comedies you’ve got your Superbads, your wedding crashers etc…..raunchy type comedies and then you’ve got the family friendly play it safe comedies like License To Wed starring the champion of the family comedy Robin Williams. It seems the changes to the comedy genre have finally taken its toll on the movie going public. Comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Wild Hogs, and your Dr. Dolittles don’t pack enough of a comedic punch anymore and unless your writing for the Simpsons chances are your not sharp enough to successfully make an audience laugh without going down the campy, darker, body fluid area of comedy. This is exactly the problem with License to Wed.
License To Wed also stars the beautiful Mandy Moore and the Office’s John Krasinski as Sadie Jones and Ben Murphy, a charming couple who have a storybook relationship and decided to take the plunge. However when Sadie decides she wants to tie the knot in her family’s church where her mother and her sister got married, they meet Reverend Frank (Williams) and his special brand of religion. Reverend Frank will marry Sadie and Ben on one condition….they pass his required pre-marital course which consists of everything from belly dancing lessons to spying on their pillow talk to robotic babies which spew simulated vomit and diarrhea. The couple do what they can to get through the crazy Reverend’s course all the while trying not to strangle each other in the progress. I know, I know it sounds great on paper and the trailer looked good, but it just doesn’t deliver.
The dialogue seems forced at times and isn’t very funny to begin with. Williams as Reverend Frank seems like he could be a very funny character but the script doesn’t have enough strength behind it to make it so. The film misses its window of opportunity to be hilarious several times, and sure its slightly amusing at parts but I was left at every corner of the story, including the ending….. asking………was that it? The movie never picks up any speed, and with the talent involved that seems almost inexcusable.
If your a John Krasinski fan your in for a treat, this is his vehicle, with Williams given first billing to put asses in the seats. Like the rest of the cast he does a good job with what he has to work with, his timing is good and its a very refreshing change to see him actually getting rattled as oppose to all of his “Officemates” from his hit television show, several of which make cameos. Mandy Moore does fine playing the stressed out bride and the ensamble playing her conceited drunken family and in-laws to be….. manage to be endearing at the right times.
Its hard to write a “clean” family comedy these days, its like hunting with a sharp stick while your buddies are using automatic weapons. I can understand that a lot of the jokes and antics that you’ll see from License To Wed, would be a lot funnier coming from characters in a Disney/pixar movie. Who do you blame for a dull family comedy? I know you can’t blame the cast, it does’nt matter…ultimately the victims are us the viewers.
License to Wed: D+