The only amusing thing about License to Wed is the idea that it’s supposed to be funny in the first place. Prosaically directed by Ken Kwapis, this Robin Williams vehicle redefines the term “lackluster,” as there isn’t a single aspect of the film that doesn’t seem lazily conceived, poorly executed, or dully borrowed from prior comedies. License to Wed‘s most inspired act of theft is its pilfering of The Office for its leading man (John Krasinski) as well as for three supporting characters (Angela Kinsey, Mindy Kaling, and Brian Baumgartner), though casting talented people doesn’t preclude them from being wasted by a script so monumentally feeble and tossed-off that it would be no surprise to learn that it had been authored on a handful of cocktail napkins. Williams plays Reverend Frank, a hip but intrusive priest who requires all couples interested in getting hitched at his church to first complete a marriage-training course. Since Sadie (Mandy Moore) has always dreamed of tying the knot at Frank’s house of worship, she and fiancé Ben (Krasinski) sign up for Frank’s three-week program, which is filled with predictably unreasonable requests—taking care of robot babies, no sex before the honeymoon, a drive-while-blindfolded test—that Sadie nonsensically agrees to and Ben intensely bristles at. Unable to perform his patented smirk-to-the-camera, Krasinski gamely enacts a few routine pratfalls and freak-outs, and the only reason he fares slightly better than Moore is because his co-star is asked to do absolutely nothing other than look pretty and act like a sweet airhead. They’re both more tolerable than Williams, who—accompanied by a grating child sidekick (Josh Flitter)—phones in lots of rapid-fire witticisms about sex and commitment while putting forth the minimum effort required. Nonetheless, given that License to Wed is slapdash to the point that it doesn’t spend more than 15 seconds on its heartwarming reconciliatory finale, I guess the star’s scant exertion is somewhat understandable.
- Ken Kwapis
- Kim Barker, Vince Di Meglio, Tim Rasmussen
- Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski, Eric Christian Olsen, Christine Taylor, Josh Flitter, DeRay Davis, Peter Strauss, Grace Zabriskie
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