2007-07-27 / Columnists

MovieScope

'License To Wed' - Connubial Miss
Review By Robert Snyder

It's great to see actor/comedian Robin Williams go back to comedy after slighting it for more serious roles. However, what's not good is when the film is as limp as "License to Wed."

Although there are funny moments, Williams doesn't quite have the youthful energy these days to carry a weak comedy by simply inserting bits from his stand-up religious routine.

Under director Ken Kwapis' unsure hand, "License to Wed" tries to tap into "Meet the Parents/Fockers" material with an innocent, loving couple, Ben and Sadie (John Krasinski and Mandy Moore), suffering from the intense moralistic scrutiny of an authoritarian father-figure, in this case, the Reverend Frank (Williams).

The wobbly premise is that because Sadie insists on having the wedding in her family church, she and Ben must submit to Reverend Frank's brutal pre-marriage prep program, which runs along the lines of the Robert De Niro-CIA-Dad surveillance and interrogation insanity in the "Parents- Fockers" movies.

A big problem is that Krasinski of TV's "The Office" is no Ben Stiller, so Williams, unlike De Niro, has almost no comic counterpoint with which to compete. Again, the veteran funnyman has to carry the weight.

The biggest laughs come not from humans at all, but from a pair of mechanical twin babies. Used to test the parenting stills of the couple, the baby-bots perform conventional gags of spitting and pooping on the wouldbe parents. Because these are the best laugh bits, Williams and company are definitely in trouble.

Reverend Frank has a pre-teen al:tar-boy sidekick (Josh Flitter). Not particularly amusing, he serves as an "Austin Powers-Dr. Evil" Mini-me, but his closeness to the pastor is off-setting in this age of pedophile priests. Nothing funny about that.

Pass on "License to Wed." Don't divorce your money for this drivel.

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