License to Wed Preview

Phew, we need a little respite. We’ve been watching some pretty horrid films for the <10% RT cycle and there are a few more on the horizon. So for Girls Night Out we’re not going to subject ourselves to something like Bolero or Return to the Blue Lagoon. Nope. We’re just going to do a nice and simple recent rom com. A little palate cleanser and momentary return to BMT normalcy. That’s right! We’re watching the Robin Williams vehicle License to Wed! The consensus for this film seems to be that it is broad and formulaic… now that sounds like BMT. Let’s go!

License to Wed (2007) – BMeTric: 53.5

LicensetoWed_BMeT

LicensetoWed_RV

(Popular and Below Average. There is a modest regression to the mean, but it looks like it is probably around where it will stay. No rethinking this one, this movie is just not very good … is what it seems to be saying. The BMeTric is higher than I would have expected maybe? These plots aren’t actually that interesting.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Embarrassing comedy wastes a talented cast in a laughless story about a reverend who puts an unsuspecting engaged couple through a series of “tests” to determine if they are ready to be married. Gag after gag falls hopelessly flat, with one involving mechanical babies hitting a new low, even for this kind of lame-braining affair. A comic misfire for Williams, who is basically straitjacketed here.

(Wow, didn’t expect to see a bomb here. I feel like Maltin is far less forgiving to a boring lame comedy than he is to a boring lame action film, although perhaps that is because he likes classic comedy more? … Maybe. This movie doesn’t seem very exciting, but I’m guessing Old Dogs would be described roughly the same way and it is amazing, so I’ll hold out hope.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmyfIOp30aI

(Hmmmm. On the face of it the premise is ludicrous. Imagine yourself in such a situation. Any normal person would say that Robin Williams is (being generous) harsh, but more people would call him a lunatic. To then rest the entire movie on multiple people not only finding this person a normal human being, but also they must consider his opinion to be of the utmost importance and consider Krasinski unreasonable for inevitably becoming upset with him. It … doesn’t seem pleasant. It is going to be unfunny, and frustrating, and will wholly depend on Williams to carry the movie. Based on the reviews I’m thinking he wasn’t up to carrying such a heavy load.)

Directors – Ken Kwapis – (Known For: He’s Just Not That Into You; The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants; A Walk in the Woods; Big Miracle; Follow That Bird; Future BMT: Dunston Checks In; The Beautician and the Beast; He Said, She Said; Vibes; BMT: License to Wed; Notes: He directed He Said, She Said with his wife Marisa Silver. His career has spanned nearly four decades now, although these days he mostly directs television. For a guy I’ve never really heard of his career is really impressive.)

Writers – Kim Barker (screenplay & story) – (BMT: All About Steve; License to Wed; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for All About Steve in 2010; Notes: It does not help that she shares the name with the journalist who inspired the film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I can’t find anything else about her … besides vitriolic rebukes of what might be called a … subpar filmography thus far.)

Vince Di Meglio and Tim Rasmussen (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Marmaduke; Smother; BMT: License to Wed; Notes: They are writing partners, although Vince Di Meglio had a career as a visual effects artist prior to an extended writing career with Rasmussen. They haven’t written a feature since 2010, but do a ton of different things within the studio system though.)

Wayne Lloyd (story) – (BMT: License to Wed; Notes: Was miscellaneous crew on The Fog … again, not much else there … where did this script come from? I would guess Kim Barker, but there is little about any of these people online, so it is quite confusing.)

Actors – Mandy Moore – (Known For: Tangled; The Princess Diaries; Saved!; Romance & Cigarettes; Dr. Dolittle 2; Dedication; American Dreamz; Future BMT: Racing Stripes; Southland Tales; Love, Wedding, Marriage; How to Deal; Swinging with the Finkels; Chasing Liberty; Try Seventeen; Hotel Noir; BMT: License to Wed; Because I Said So; Notes: Made her first album at 15 and first toured with the Backstreet Boys. Somehow a staple of my childhood, and developed an extensive filmography along the way. This movie predates her own wedding in 2009 (although she has since sadly gotten a divorce))

John Krasinski – (Known For: 13 Hours; The Hollars; The Holiday; Monsters University; Jarhead; It’s Complicated; Monsters vs. Aliens; Dreamgirls; Shrek the Third; Away We Go; Kaze tachinu; The Muppets; Promised Land; Smiley Face; Kinsey; Leatherheads; The Prophet; Big Miracle; Nobody Walks; State and Main; Future BMT: Aloha; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men; BMT: Taxi; License to Wed; Doogal; Something Borrowed; Notes: Married to Emily Blunt. Fun facts: He’s brother-in-law to The Tucc, Stanley Tucci who is married to Felicity Blunt [Editor’s Note: We talking about The Tucc?]. Also went to highschool with his Office co-star B.J. Novak)

Robin Williams – (Known For: Aladdin; Good Will Hunting; Happy Feet; Dead Poets Society; Mrs. Doubtfire; Jumanji; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Insomnia; What Dreams May Come; The Butler; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Robots; Awakenings; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Fisher King; Popeye; The Birdcage; Hamlet; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Future BMT: Toys; Flubber; Nine Months; Fathers’ Day; RV: Runaway Vacation; Club Paradise; Jack; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; A Merry Christmas Miracle; Absolutely Anything; Man of the Year; The Final Cut; Shakes the Clown; The Best of Times; The Survivors; The Big White; Noel; Hook; Jakob the Liar; Patch Adams; Bicentennial Man; Shrink; BMT: License to Wed; Old Dogs; The Big Wedding; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Obviously a legend and sadly recently took his own life. He was a staple of my childhood and also a brilliant and classically trained actor. There isn’t much more to say. I’ll add a small note about her daughter Zelda here though: she apparently voiced a character in the newest King’s Quest which I have been meaning to play.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $43,799,818 (Worldwide: $69,307,224)

(Yeah, not great. You’d hope to at least get close to $100 million for a comedy, especially with that is a pretty large budget for a romantic comedy at $35 million. Not surprised License to Wed 2: The Honeymoon never happened … yeah, I might write that in the recap next week, sounds fun.)

#96 for the Romantic Comedy genre

licensetowed_romanticcomedy

(Right around the recent BMT Rumor Has It … which is at #99. The genre of the Golden age. Slowly rising during the 90s (although it made a ton of money in the 80s there were clearly less of them) and then plateauing from 2000-2010. The genre has all but collapsed, probably because of VOD. We’ll have to get them while they’re hot.)

#21 for the Wedding genre

licensetowed_wedding

(Around Bride Wars and seen more recently with That’s My Boy. Feels right doesn’t it? Getting warm outside, feels like the right time for some BMT wedding movies. I pointed out previously that there is basically one wedding movie a year. This was the wedding movie for 2007.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (9/125): Featuring one of Robin Williams’ most shtick-heavy performances, the broad and formulaic License to Wed wrings little out of its slightly creepy, unappealing premise.

(Ha, “broad” is a very funny word to use here. Dirty word in comedy to an extent. I’m digging the slightly creepy premise though, sounds like something you can squeeze a little joy out of, purely rejecting of the fundamental premise of the movie.)

Poster – License to Sklog (C)

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(This has a lot going against it. Hard to make a good looking poster with so much white on the page. No dominant color can overtake it, so it’s screwed from the get go. The generic font doesn’t help. On the other hand the spacing, symmetry and humor to the poster are pluses. Kind of just evens out to a meh.)

Tagline(s) – First came love… then came Reverend Frank. (B+)

(Huh… this is almost a tagline you would expect for a sequel. When we know who Reverend Frank is. Still, it’s got everything you expect from a good tagline.)

Keyword(s) – church; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.0 Date Movie (2006); 86.8 BloodRayne (2005); 84.7 Left Behind (I) (2014); 83.8 RoboCop 3 (1993); 81.7 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991); 78.5 The Devil Inside (2012); 76.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 75.5 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 72.6 Jonah Hex (2010); 70.2 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013);

(What a list! A march through time, some pretty sneaky BMTs in there too (like Robocop 3, a church plays a huge role in that film weirdly). PSA: If you are going to watch Highlander II remember to try and get the non-renegade version on VHS. Much more highlanders-are-aliens goodness in that one.)

Notes – Ben Murphy’s parents are played by John Krasinski (Ben)’s real life parents. (fun fact)

‘The Office’ (US) stars John Krasinski, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner and Mindy Kaling all featured in this movie. (fun fact)

Ken Kwapis, director of this movie, also directed many episodes of The Office (US). (fun fact)

Brian Braumgartner’s character’s name is Jim, the same name as John Krasinski (Ben) character’s name on The Office. (fun fact … just a few fun facts, nothing super interesting in these notes even! This movie can go either way)

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