License to Wed - Cover 

Starring: Robin Williams, John Krasinski, Mandy Moore

Movie Mind Says:  Wait for Pay-Per-View

Submitted 7-4-07
Are you about to get married? When I say “about to,” I mean “in the next 2 months” … like The Movie Mind is? If you are, this may be worth your time. If you aren’t getting married anytime soon, either wait until you are getting married or don’t bother seeing it at all. At the very least, it makes those of us heading toward the long tunnel of matrimony feel that the time leading up to the big day could actually be worse—and, believe me, it’s tough enough.

The biggest disappointment about License to Wed is that I had such high hopes for it. I am an avid fan of The Office and couldn’t wait to see how ‘Jim’ translated to the big screen, and while he did so somewhat effortlessly, Mandy Moore is no Pam Beasley. It got me to thinking: Has Mandy Moore been in anything that she hasn’t ruined?

Sadly, the conclusion appears to be: No. No, not at all. She ruined a full season of Entourage by turning Vinnie Chase into a love-struck pansy. She ruined Scrubs by making Dr. Dorian into an even bigger pansy. It may be a stretch to say she ruined Chasing Liberty because it was ruined from the start, but because The Movie Mind can tolerate just about any flick about the Secret Service, he also assumes she ruined that too. Her chemistry (or lack thereof) with ‘Jim’ was painful to watch. Painful. I’m talking Gigli painful (and every other Ben Affleck pic with a female love interest), and I don’t throw that around all the time.

 To be fair, Mandy Moore did not ruin this movie on her own. That’s why writing this review is so utterly disappointing. I was begging for this to be good, and I thought it could have been, even despite Mandy Moore. The little-kid sidekick to Robin Williams’ character, Reverend Frank (the use of Reverend in place of Father, by the way, seems done solely to avoid pissing off the Catholics), should have been better … much better. He didn’t look the part and wasn’t nearly as funny as he could have been. What happened? Did that little fat kid from The Man Show have a prior engagement?

The only reason this doesn’t get the lowest Movie Mind Rating is because of a few extremely funny sequences. Rev. Frank wants to give ‘Jim’ and Mandy a taste of parenthood and assigns two lifelike baby robots for their care. When they take the two robotic kids to the mall for the bridal registry, it brings a bunch of awkward scenes worth some good laughs. Although it does beg the question: Instead of returning one robot sans head, wouldn’t simply leaving them at home be a better way to pass Rev. Frank’s test?

There is the standard sophomoric humor (and—just to be clear—I’m not beyond sophomoric humor) in the scene at the jewelry store, and ‘Kevin’ from The Office makes a few hilarious cameos. If you are in the midst of getting married – tell me you couldn’t appreciate the humor in ‘Jim’ grabbing the wedding ‘registry gun’ and zapping TVs and audio equipment behind his fiancé’s back. I can’t tell you all how badly I tried to do that during my registry trip. Other then that, it’s a rather dull ending that literally made my fiancé and I get up and walk out before the credits started rolling (we could tell we were not alone after the audience gave a collective groan about the utter corniness of the scene). 

As the film’s sole remaining hope, Robin Williams’ crazed Rev. Frank certainly won’t be remembered as one of his best (often leaving you wondering exactly what he is crazed over). Although over-the-top is what Williams does best, his character just crosses over that blurred funny-but-a-little-creepy line way too much.

I can’t say it enough: I wish I was wrong about this one. I even hope they remake this in a few years so it can be done right—and I usually hate that. But, take it from me, if ‘Jim’ doesn’t pick scripts a little better, he could be stuck at Dunder Mifflin for the rest of his life.

If You Like This You Should Watch:  American Wedding
Better Than:  Nine Months
Worse Than:  Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, Knocked Up

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