License to Wed *
Directed by Ken Kwapis
Written by Kim Barber and Tim Rasmussen
Robin Williams as Reverend Frank
Mandy Moore as Sadie Jones
John Krasinski as Ben Murphy
Eric Christian Olsen as Carlisle
Christine Taylor as Lindsey Jones
Josh Flitter as Choir Boy
DeRay Davis as Joel
Peter Strauss as Mr. Jones
Grace Zabriskie as Grandma Jones
Roxanne Hart as Mrs. Jones
Mindy Kaling as Shelley
Angela Kinsey as Judith the Jewelry Clerk
Rachael Harris as Janine
Brian Baumgartner as Jim
100 Minutes(Rated PG-13 for sexual humor and language).
"License to Wed" is an absolute disaster from beginning to end, and if this does not get crushed by "Transformers, (another bad bad film)," "Ratatouille," or "Live Free or Die Hard," then this is a failed and sad country that we live in. There is a single funny gag in the very long and painful 100 minute run time here, and when a Robin Williams first billed comedy has its one funny part when he's not even on camera, then there is a big problem. Poor Mandy Moore, who isn't having a good year after the equally horrid "Because I Said So. . ." joins up with one time real life partner John Krasinski, from TV's "The Office," for a no chemistry "Anger Management" like romantic comedy, and by the end they look almost as bored as I was.
Moore and Krasinski play Sadie and Ben, a couple that met one day at a coffee shop, and quickly moved in together, and not he is asking her to marry him to which she says yes. Now their are problems from the very beginning, as their entire relationship up until the proposal is told in a five minute voice over narration by Robin Williams. Who cares about them already? Sadie wants to get married under the family Reverend, Reverend Frank, who has been a friend of the family for years. Before they tie the knot-which they have a choice between two years and three weeks, to which they take the latter-they have to go through Frank's marriage course, and at the end he will decide if they are fit to be married or not. The course will test Sadie and Ben's relationship, putting them several challenges such as their argument skills, parenting skills, and trust and communication skills. There is even a no sex rule. Frank goes so far to bug the apartment to make sure that they don't break this one. And Ben becomes suspicious of the Rev. and is convinced that he is insane, leading to a horribly unfunny rehearsal ceremony, and then another painful thirty minutes where the morals are thrown down our throats and the audience checks their watches.
Now this could have been funny. Robin Williams used to be hilarious, but with this and last year's "Man of the Year" he is far away from making a comeback. Mandy Moore and John Krasinski have zero chemistry and even less presence, and Williams, who looks like he might be trying to make an effort, could have been played opposite cardboard cutouts and there would not be a difference. I have also come to the conclusion that Krasinski does not really have any talent, and the extent of his acting is just variations of his character Jim on "The Office." He does his trademark "staring in the camera bewildered look," and it just doesn't fit here. The comedy is very obvious, even though there is that one funny moment that I mentioned above. At one point, the happy couple is given two really really creepy robot babies to test their parenting skills on. It's quite a memorable five minutes-and the look of the two robot babies is just priceless, as well as a bit where Krasinski is forced to change one of them, who has blue goo coming out of the place where his behind should be. But thats it, for the entire time. Most of the time I just felt embarrassed for the whole cast, who is forced to read such terrible lines that is portrayed as comedy.
"License to Wed" will be buried underneath the summer action and animated features, and then with "Harry Potter" and the new Adam Sandler on their way, this will not see the light of day for very long. And I guess that's good, because those other two that are coming in the future look to be much better than this drivel. It should be out of theaters long before someone makes the mistake of trying to see it, and then learning that it has already gone. The comedy is very obvious, the romance just not believable and mostly plain annoying, and the running time is about an hour longer than it should be. Reverend Frank seems more like a weekly Saturday Night Live character than an actual movie antagonist. And lastly, on a side note-Krasinski brings along three of his "Office" co-stars, who are all involved in equally unfunny comedic portions, and when all three of them-who are usually equally hilarious on their television show-make a miss, it has to be the script to blame. Stay as far away from this as you can. One of the year's worst.