The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

License To Wed

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Judy Thorburn

License To Wed

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THIS "LICENSE TO WED" NEEDS TO BE REVOKED

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) and Ben Murphy (John Krasinski, of TV’s The Office, in his big screen debut) appear to be the perfect twenty something couple. The cute pair is a match made in heaven – until Ben meets the pastor from hell, or as he is more commonly known in his community, the minister of Sadie’s church. You see, only the preacher, an unmarried man no less, will know for sure if the lovebirds are ready to take the matrimonial plunge.

Let me rewind. Sadie and Ben met, dated, and after six months moved in together - you know the routine. All is well and good, in fact it couldn’t be better, topped off by Ben popping the question to Sadie at her parent’s 30th wedding anniversary. Just one thing seems to be standing in their way of their intended nuptials. Sadie insists on getting married in St. Augustine, her family church. Unlucky for Ben, that means meeting Reverend Frank (Robin Williams) the aforementioned church pastor with an “un-orthodox” agenda, if you will, that doesn’t make it easy for couples to say I do. Reverend Frank refuses to marry anyone unless they complete and pass his marriage preparatory course that entails several tests that are meant to challenge a couple’s love and compatibility. It doesn’t matter that his methods are scheming, manipulative and just plain mean and unacceptable.

Now, having someone play interference isn’t a new or original plot device for a romantic comedy. Movie goers are used to seeing a friend, foe or parent do some serious meddling. Take Meet the Parents for example. This was a hilarious movie in which Robert DeNiro was the future father in law and Ben Stiller played his daughter’s groom to be.

If only License to Wed was only half as funny. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come close. In fact, it is thisclose to being awful, save the likable John Krasinksi doing his best with what he’s given as a responsible, sweet guy in a very bad situation. Watching Krasinski as poor Ben go through one ridiculous, cruel, and unlikely test after another to win over the approval of the irreverent Reverend was a test of how much I could endure without having to get up and walk out of the theatre. Mandy Moore on the other hand, should rethink her next movie role because although she is cute and perky as ever, she appears brainless (I’m being kind) accepting anything and everything the Reverend dishes out at her and her fiancé without any question. As for Robin Williams, he looks uncomfortably strained and has never been so UNfunny. Based on this and his other recent comedy bombs, I think that at this point in his career he fares better going the dramatic route in movies and should keep his manic style comedy shtick to stage performances.

I know that a preacher would probably ask a couple to abstain from premarital sex, even in this new millennium. But nothing else in this film comes across as being logical or believable in any way. I mean here is this guy with a collar, able to get away with some pretty nasty, unlawful and sometimes illegal methods all these years; the least being invasion of privacy, (he bugs apartments) without anyone complaining or having him arrested. The reverend also has his own Mini me, a self proclaimed “minister in training”, or protégé in the form of a wisecracking chubby little kid (Josh Fritter) who is always by his side to assist in his conniving ways. I know I am not alone in finding their relationship more than a bit creepy. By the way, where are this kid’s parents?

As if this isn’t disturbing enough, Ben and Sadie are given a pair of freaky looking robotic twin babies to take home that expel disgusting bodily fluids from every possible orifice. These dolls look like they belong in some horror movie. Like anyone in their right mind would actually mistake them for real human babies during a shopping trip in a department store is beyond belief. Another unlikely and very dangerous exercise to test the couple’s trust involves a blindfolded Sadie driving in heavy traffic at the risk of their lives, if you are willing to buy that. I guess you could say my limit was reached when Ben and Sadie are taken on a tour of a hospital’s delivery room where they are able to watch a screaming mother-to-be in the middle of giving birth, as if it was a regular showing for anyone wanting to view. These are just a few of the torturous trials thrown at Ben and Sadie that are aimed to destroy their relationship until Ben decides enough is enough and is out to seek revenge.

Needless to say, all ends well after a short breakup and reconciliation, at which point we are supposed to accept the premise that the darling couple had learned some life lessons from the Reverend, whose motivations and intentions (gag me with a spoon) were of course, nothing but well meaning.

Did I say this is supposed to be a romantic comedy? Short on romance and more offensive than funny, License to Wed is an embarrassing train wreck for all involved. If this was a sitcom, no doubt it would be cancelled. I believe in creative license, but there is no excuse for making this dreadful License to Wed, when for all intents and purposes, it should have been revoked.