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License to Wed

Starring Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski, Eric Christian Olsen, Christine Taylor, Josh Flitter
Screenplay by Kim Barker and Tim Rasmussen & Vince DiMeglio; story by Kim Barker & Wayne Lloyd
Directed by Ken Kwapis

IN SHORT: Consistent chuckles but no big whoop. [Rated PG-13 for sexual humor and language. ]

It was a chance encounter. A look. A touch. A line of people assaulted by one of those ribbon devices designed to keep people in line -- you've seen the start gag of License to Wed in the trailer or advertising, so we're not giving anything away. Indeed, Ben Murphy (John Krasinski) and his fiancée, Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) are a great looking couple. Sadie has always dreamed of marrying at her local church but St. Augustine’s only has no wedding slot for the next two years -- no, wait, there's been a cancellation and charismatic pastor, Reverend Frank (Robin Williams), will perform the marriage only when the pair until they pass his patented, foolproof marriage-prep course, administered by him and his sidekick, a mini-reverend from hell in training (Josh Flitter).

In retrospect, we figure some unlucky offstage couple failed the test but that's because we're thinking too much and have space to fill.

We must admit that if License to Wed was the knock down comedy fest in which preacher Robin Williams fills the role of intrusive mother in law to be -- formula is formula and we don't care if it's formula as long as it's entertaining. That we found our mind wandering to questions like "why is the Reverend being called Pastor when he wears an RC collar and runs a church named after an RC saint?" That is not a request for reader response. Our mind shouldn't be wandering to that or getting more entertainment from recognizing other members of The Office in the cast and feeling joy 'cuz they got work.

It really comes down to the fact that (we) know Williams' work in two ways: his classic comedic explosions or the subdued nature held back for more dramatic stories. This being comedy, we get a religious leader who is generally calm but every once in a while explodes with weird stuff. Problem is, it isn't funny. What maty have been has already been spilled in the trailer or teevee advertising.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to License to Wed, he would have paid . . .


rent, if you dare. . . and word up to Ben?? You better be good to Sadie 'cuz a former Robocop (Peter Weller) is her dad <g>

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.