Ahhh. Nothing like the relaxing week of a single, simple 80 minute film with bloopies at the end. Really trying to stretch that lack of a story to feature length. Gives us something light to snack on before getting back to the g-g-g-g-garbage. Let’s go!
What?! Sadie and Ben are getting married! But before they can have their dream wedding at Sadie’s childhood church they must go through pre-wedding counseling with Reverend Frank. Can they pass the course and walk the aisle before… uh… it’s too late!? Find out in… License to Wed!
How?! The story focuses around Ben and Sadie who met and fell in love while ordering a delicious coffee from Starbucks. Ben proceeds to pop the question and Sadie says yes. Hooray! They find out that the church that Sadie wants to get married in is booked solid except for a date only three weeks away. Uh oh! Artificial plot constraint alert! This means that they have to plan the wedding and pass a pre-wedding counseling course all in a matter of days. When it turns out that the head of the church, Reverend Frank, is a monster that uses illegal surveillance and mind games to manipulate his victims into incredibly high stress situations, Bed and Sadie’s love are no match and they call off the wedding. Once separated, they both realize that Reverend Frank was right… or something… and that they belong together. Ben jets off to join Sadie at the beautiful and luxurious Sandals resort in Jamaica where they are married by the monster who almost ruined their lives. Gah!… He illegally surveilled you and almost destroyed your relationship! Everyone acts like he’s totally normal and not a crazy person! It’s infuriating.
Why?! Also infuriating. Ben and Sadie simply want to get married and literally nothing stands in their way. There isn’t some other person who wants to get married on the same day. There isn’t some crazy family drama throwing a monkey wrench in the celebration. There isn’t an unexpected ex or second thoughts giving someone cold feet. In fact they breeze through planning a wedding in three weeks as if it’s nothing. The only conflict is the garbageman himself, Frank. He is the conflict. Why? Because he is so dismayed by the divorce rate in the United States that he insists that everyone experience the ultimate levels of stress to see if their relationship can survive it. If they can then they deserve to be married, if they can’t then they don’t. What?! You are bonkers insane, Frank.
Who?! We got double decker uncredited action on this one. Both Bob Balaban and Wanda Sykes make cameo appearances as people who appear normal but, I assure you, they are crazy. It’s impossible to know why they ended up appearing uncredited. Maybe they were doing a favor to the director or a producer. Or maybe they didn’t think it was worth the credit. I certainly wouldn’t have if I appeared in the same scene as Balaban did.
Where?! Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. Everywhere you look there is a Cubs hat or a Northwestern shirt or an establishing shot of the Chicago River. It’s pretty prominent, but not ridiculously so. B.
When?! What’s that sounds? That’s right! An exact date alert! When Ben and Sadie are ordering their wedding rings we get a brief glimpse of the paperwork. Right at the top shines a beautiful “5/17” for the date. Since the proposal and wedding all take place within three weeks we know that May 17th is approximately correct for the entire film. Magnifique. B as it’s exact but not vital to the plot and hard to determine.
If you couldn’t tell I really didn’t like this film. I found it infinitely frustrating. But perhaps it just cut to my core. Perhaps the situations were just too real. I’ll have to ask an objective observer about this. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! License to Wed? More like License Revoked! A true blue NY Post headline! I’ve been informed that my rhyme game has become a little more like a half-rhyme game recently and is wizzzzzeak as shit (his words not mine). I’ll do better though, I promise. Perhaps … I just need to be put under intense pressure and stress for weeks on end until I go crazy, punch Jamie in the face, quit BMT, and am left a wreck picking up the pieces of my shattered life … but what’s that? I learn that BMT is what I need, it is what I love, and from me blossoms the most beautiful full rhymes the world has ever seen! To achieve these dizzying heights I needed to know me and BMT could go through anything together!!! Or maybe that’s bonkers and so are the writers of this movie, let’s go!
The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – How can I recover when we’ve already revealed that one of the protagonists of the movie is a raging psychopath? Well if there was one thing that kind of redeems the film it is that if you squint enough you can kind of see the point: If you can make it through the toughest time together you’ll make it through anything. Let’s extend that harsh truth into a “hilarious” sequel. This time following Reverend Frank’s young protege played by Josh Flitter. Now in seminary school the young man, billed curiously as simply Choir Boy in the original (he was like … the fifth biggest character), has started to doubt his path to God. Did Reverend Frank teach him good or evil? If his place in the world is not to commune with the Lord, what is it? A movie that explores a lost soul sinking unyieldingly into a deep spiritual depression. The New York Times called it “a huge downer. Why they would call it License to Wed: Legacy is beyond the entire editorial staff”. Sorry, harsh truths and all, if he can’t get through the toughest times how is he to know his relationship with the Lord is going to last? Gross.
The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – The acting by the television crew of the Office was spotty at best. This is a one laugh movie, and is otherwise just frustrating. The evil that is Reverend Frank in this film must have come about in a very complex fashion because very early on he plants a bug in Ben and Sadie’s house and from there it is hard to imagine the character recovering. Yeah, they’re going to find it. So how does everyone not immediately see Frank exposed for the garbage monster that he is? Well, a solid 20 minutes of this 80 minute long film relies on Frank’s surveillance of Ben and Sadie so you can’t write it out, so naturally they make Ben break into Frank’s house and make him look like a crazy person as well. This is a trend in this film: it exists in a world where up is down, black is white, and people act like lunacy is normal. It is the only way this film operates, and is rather common in poorly written comedies, and basically comes from sloth, too lazy to actually write normal human beings until the film is a frustrating mess. Weirdly common.
The BMT: Legacy – What I wrote in the previous paragraph is interesting: that MO, the storyline that can’t be extracted as it is somehow (and inexplicably) woven throughout the messy tapestry of a movie, is indeed quite common in bad comedies. This could ultimately be a singular example of such a storyline. That I think could be this film’s legacy for BMT. Otherwise it is bad, but it also isn’t even the worst wedding based film we’ve seen in the last couple of months so ….
And finally a quick StreetCreditReport.com: This film came out in 2007, but doesn’t get a lot of love on the worst of lists. It was number three on the MTV worst of list, and top three on CNN’s list, but otherwise doesn’t even make the top 15 on the AV Club, and is general trounced by Norbit. I think this is ultimately lost to time as it’s not even the third worst comedy of 2007, let alone anything special from an impressive decade light the 00s.
I’ll leave it there. Cheerios,