License To Wed – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Director:

Ken Kwapis

Starring:

Robin Williams ………. Reverend Frank
Mandy Moore ………. Sadie Jones
John Krasinski ………. Ben Murphy
Christine Taylor ………. Lindsey Jones
Eric Christian Olsen ………. Carlisle
Josh Flitter ………. Choir Boy

The Movie

If you were to look up the word “formula” in the dictionary, you would find this definition: “something regarded as a normative example”. If you then looked up the phrase “romantic comedy” in that same dictionary, you would probably find a definition like this: “a humorous movie, play, or novel about a love story that ends happily”. There is no official definition for the phrase “formulaic romantic comedy”. However, if there was a definition for it you would simply see pictures of various movies from the last 10 years. Welcome the newest entry under the definition of “formulaic romantic comedy”, License To Wed.

License To Wed stars Mandy Moore as Sadie Jones. Sadie has always wanted to marry the man of her dreams in her family church. She eventually finds that man in Ben Murphy (John Krasinski). However, there is one problem. The minister of her family church, Reverend Frank (Robin Williams), is eccentric and will not wed Ben and Sadie until they agree to attend and pass his prenuptial course in only three weeks time. Reverend Frank makes the happy couple attend unusual classes and complete a series of homework assignments designed specifically to irritate one another, in order to get past the puppy love and ensure that their union will have a strong foundation.

By reading the premise of this movie, you should know how the entire movie plays out. These are not spoilers for this movie. You should all know the formula for a romantic comedy by now. But here is how this kind of movie works, in case you might have forgotten. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall madly in love with each other. They are the perfect couple. They plan to marry, but then some secondary character in one of their lives attempts to destroy the couple. This secondary character is so annoying and so psychotic that it eventually drives a wedge between the happy couple. Happy couple then break up and all seems lost. That is until happy couple reunites, gets past the reasons they broke up in the first place, and exposes the annoying secondary character at the same time. Finally, happy couple gets married and lives happily ever after. Just insert Sadie and Ben into the happy couple role and insert Reverend Frank in the annoying secondary character spot, and you know how License To Wed unfolds.

So the plot is predictable as it can be, but a good romantic comedy can be saved by a good cast. John Krasinski and Mandy Moore are fantastic as the lead couple. They are both adorable and nice, and seem like the perfect couple. That is exactly what you want in this kind of film. The supporting cast around them is pretty solid as well. They aren’t given much to work with, which is unfortunate since their could have been more comedic moments involving Sadie’s family.

Unfortunately all of the aforementioned characters get overshadowed by the antics of Robin Williams. Robin Williams is really what makes or breaks this movie. The reason for that is because almost all of the “laughs” are given to him. Williams can be a talented comedian, but there is nothing new to his shtick here. The real problem is that the character of Reverend Frank and his young sidekick, Choir Boy, are both a little too creepy to be as funny as they should be. Reverend Frank walks the thin line between sanity and insanity. Robin Williams is perfect for this role, but he dominates most of the action and it really drags the movie down a lot. Josh Flitter will probably be a fine actor some day, but here he is just as creepy and not really funny as Choir Boy. The biggest laughs and the best moments in this movie come from John Krasinski and Mandy Moore. Too bad they weren’t given more of a chance to take center stage in this movie.

Whether you like this movie or not will largely depend on whether you like Robin Williams or not. Although, even the most hardcore Williams fans will probably find this character a little too creepy to be in a “romantic comedy”. There are actually laughs in this “romantic comedy”, which is rare for the genre, but they are few and far between. You know how this movie begins and ends, so really the only saving graces are the performance from John Krasinski and the undeniable cuteness of Mandy Moore. Still this isn’t enough to raise License To Wed above the typical mediocrity of the “formulaic romantic comedy” genre.

The Video:

The video is given in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen color, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs, and the standard 1.33:1 fullscreen color. The video is slightly grainy in spots, but overall no real problems here.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, or French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, and French as well. No problems real problems here either. The music and dialogue come out loud and clear. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you.

The Extras:

“Ask Choir Boy” Featurette
This is more of a combination between a game and featurette. There is a phone with different phone lines on it. You press one line and it goes to Choir Boy answering a question from a caller on his radio show. There are 11 different relationship/marriage questions for Choir Boy to answer. This is a pretty unique feature, but unfortunately the questions and answers that Choir Boy gives are not that funny.

Deleted Scenes
There are of these scenes and they total around 12 minutes worth of scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the movie. You have the option to hear commentary on these scenes from the director, Ken Kwapis. He explains why these scenes were all cut, and it’s recommended to hear the reasons. The most notable scenes are the entire storylines of Ben’s bachelor party and Sadie’s bachelorette party.

THE INSIDE PULSE

Fans of Robin Williams, John Krasinski, and Mandy Moore will want to consider renting this movie. It’s not as bad as some romantic comedies, but it’s not really that great either. I can’t really recommend buying this for anyone until you watch it first. Then, maybe hardcore fans of the aforementioned actors will consider buying this. But don’t expect any surprises. The extras are also lacking and extremely disappointing.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for License To Wed
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

3
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

2
REPLAY VALUE

3
OVERALL
2.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)