Review: 'License to Wed' annoying and boring

“License to Wed” isn’t so much about matrimony as mediocrity.

The senseless Robin Williams farce — replete with humor at the expense of the obese, the elderly and the devout — disguises itself as a young adult-friendly romantic comedy. But it’s really just cut-rate, throwaway, big-screen waste with the inexplicably overused Mandy Moore annoying us yet again as the ingenue. Too boring and irrelevant to be condemned as truly bad, this movie’s high concept supposes the existence of a sadistic and yet somehow still well-intentioned premarital religious counselor-from-hell.

As underdirected by Ken Kwapis and carelessly written by Kim Barker and Tim Rasmussen, the story imagines Williams as the intrusive Rev. Frank, a cleric of unspecified Christian denomination. In a stretch of logic so twisted and impossible it could only come from Hollywood, this man of God sure acts like the devil. He doesn’t just force class participation; he also has illegal bugging devices installed to eavesdrop, thwarts all sexual contact, intentionally provokes nasty arguments, plants evil robot babies for “practice,” uses church availability as blackmail, and otherwise torments couples who come to him to perform their wedding ceremonies.

Aided by his choirboy henchman (Josh Flitter), Rev. Frank sabotages couples in a supposed effort to force open lines of communication and somehow strengthen their bond. But for the faithful Sadie Jones (Moore) and her hapless and annoyed fiancé Ben (“The Office’s” John Krasinski), Frank’s manipulations threaten what they thought was already a happy relationship.

Sadie’s well-to-do family serves as Greek chorus as hilarity allegedly ensues and the required boy-loses-girl scenario plays out. Unfortunately, a script dependant on lazy sight gag set-ups and Williams’ antic reputation isn’t helped much by the presence of the featured love birds cast here. Moore is talentless milquetoast as always, while Krasinski proves not attractive enough, funny enough nor memorable enough to merit his promotion from television to the multiplex.

They contribute to a “License” in need of revoking.

License to Wed *

StarringRobin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski

Written by Kim Barker, Tim Rasmussen

Directed by Ken Kwapis

Rated PG-13

Running time 1 hour, 40 minutes

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Breed changes plans for massive new Moscone West homeless shelter

City now moving more shelter residents to hotel rooms after three test positive for COVID-19

Two test positive at SF homeless shelter in South of Market

Two people staying at a homeless shelter in San Francisco’s South of… Continue reading

Testing and re-testing continues at Laguna Honda as total cases increase to 16

Last week, the total number of diagnosed coronavirus cases at Laguna Honda,… Continue reading

Muni to stop running nearly every route in SF — more than 70 lines

UPDATE: 11:09 p.m.: Sources within the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said… Continue reading

Most Read