Friday, August 10, 2012

License to Wed (2007) [PG-13] **

This romantic comedy contains neither romance nor comedy. Robin Williams plays Reverend Frank, a mean-spirited, manipulative priest, determined to put Ben Murphy (John Krasinski) and Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) through a three-week premarital boot camp before certifying them to be married. During the ordeal the unfortunate pair experience several humiliations including: (1) Frank hitting Ben in the face with a baseball; (2) Ben and Sadie fighting while they role-play changing a flat tire; (3) Frank coaching Ben into embarrassing himself in front of Sadie's family during a wine tasting event; (4) Ben guiding a blindfolded Sadie as she drives a car through traffic with Frank at her side; (5) Ben and Sadie dealing with a pair of android babies that Frank loaned to them; and (6) Ben discovering that Frank has bugged their apartment.

John Krasinski tries to hold the film together despite having little help from either Moore or Williams. Unfortunately, Krasinski and Moore have absolutely no romantic chemistry, although it is certainly not for Krasinski's lack of effort. Moore is wrapped tighter than an airport sandwich; she could no more give herself to Krasinski in a passionate screen kiss, her body yielding and pressed against him, her arms around his neck, her open mouth melting with his, than she could walk on water. Moore was 23 when this film was made, and since she clearly has not developed the ability to be a romantic lead, she probably never will. She may be a great hit in the youth, family and religious markets, but years from now Moore will likely be remembered simply as another boring, passionless, good-girl actress like Jennifer Aniston. If you want to see Robin Williams play a kind, compassionate, noble, endearing figure, watch Good Will Hunting or Bicentennial Man. Do not waste your time on this film. You will regret it and you will never get the 90 minutes of your life back. 

Labels: comedy, romance    
Internet MovieDatabase    
Metacritic 25/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=31, viewers=62)    

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