License To Wed sort of slipped into the summer, dodging between the huge summer hits and, surprisingly, made a bit of an impact at the box office. Raking in over $40 million dollars, License To Wed made a nice bundle of cash before slipping out, succumbing to the unmitigated onslaught of summer blockbusters we received this past year. People looking for a nice, low-key romantic comedy got just that. With the simple premise and likable actors taking charge, License To Wed definitely makes a pleasant impression and serves as good fodder for a nice date night.
First came love….then came Reverend Frank. Newly engaged, Ben Murphy (John Krasinski) and Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) can’t wait to start their life together and live happily ever after. The problem is that Sadie’s family church, St. Augustine’s, is run by Reverend Frank (Robin Williams), who won’t bless Ben and Sadie’s union until they pass his patented, “foolproof” marriage-prep course. Consisting of outrageous classes, outlandish homework assignments and some outright invasion of privacy, Reverend Frank’s rigorous curriculum puts Ben and Sadie’s relationship to the test. Forget happily ever after–do they even have what it takes to make it to the altar?
It’s a cute movie. That’s the first thing I say when someone asks me about License To Wed. I wouldn’t call it great, but it’s a good, cute movie that’s worth spending a nice Saturday night with. And what makes this movie enjoyable? Well, the charisma falls squarely on the shoulders of Krasinski, as Moore is a bit bland in her role and Williams can be overbearing at times (and his little “in training” sidekick even moreso). However, in his better moments, Williams and Krasinski do work well off each other, that I have to admit. There are some great comedic moments between the two. Sure, Krasinski spends a lot of the movie shouting, “He’s insane,” but he does work well with the material given, even when some of it is less than stellar (While this will ruin any credit I have as a journalist, I actually did laugh at the scene where the toy babies pee on Krasinksi, perhaps subconscious enjoyment of Krasinski getting ridiculed? Perhaps.).
As with any romantic comedy, the situations within are exaggerated and, occasionally, hard to believe. Would a minister whip up such an invasive and obnoxious marriage-prep course? Doubtful. Sure, there are marriage-prep courses, but nothing along these lines, but this is where we find the comedy, in the ridiculous lengths Reverend Frank goes with his course. And yes, some instances are funny in a cute kind-of-way, but there are some annoyances. Again, Frank’s little minister-in-training can be annoying from time to time. But those are small distractions from what is essentially a serviceable and likable romantic comedy. Again, it’s nothing special and doesn’t exceed anything beyond what the normal romantic comedy borders, but it’s a good movie to curl up and watch on a Saturday night with your significant other. Also, keep an eye out for some cameos by Krasinski’s The Office castmates.
So, how does the DVD fare? It’s a standard release. The DVD is placed in an Amaray case, no inserts, and bilingual artwork for the Canadian packaging (dubbed Mariage 101 in French). The DVD extras include additional scenes with optional commentary by director Ken Kwapis. There’s also a short interactive featurette called “Ask the Choir Boy,” where consumers get to choose which relationship/marriage questions the Choir Boy answers on his late night talk radio show.
If you’re looking for a light movie to watch, then License to Wed comes recommended for a Rental. It’s a pretty light movie with some actual funny moments. License to Wed isn’t as bad as some reviewers have made it out to be, but it’s also nothing special, either. It’s a simple, almost old-fashioned, romantic comedy that doesn’t strive for anything more than what it sets out to be. It’s predictable, fluffy, but fun and forgettable. The DVD adds a couple extra features, but nothing of any real substance. Again, it’s a fluffy movie that makes for a great ‘date night’ viewing, but not much beyond that, and worth the rental price.
License to Wed is now available on DVD.