Love, Wedding, Marriage

6 Jan

Title: Love, Wedding, Marriage
Year: 2011
Director: Dermot Mulroney
Writers: Anouska Chydzik and Caprice Crane
Starring: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, Jessica Szohr, Jane Seymour, James Brolin, Michael Weston
MPAA Rating: PG-13, sexual material and language
Runtime: 90 min
IMDb Rating: 4.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 0%
Metacritic: 13

I have fifteen or so more 2011 releases I intend to check out before I close down my 2011 rankings and start doing a couple Year-in-Review features tallying down my favorite performances and movies of the year, hopefully before the Oscar nominations so I can make the OscarWatch features I did last year. But anyways, of the fifteen or so 2011 films I still intend to watch, many I’m actually really looking forward to and look great (I still need to catch up with X-Men: First Class for example, not to mention Hugo and The Muppets), but this film right here, Love, Wedding, Marriage, I wasn’t looking forward to at all. After all, that 0% on the Tomatometer, and the 13 score on Metacritic just pretty much guaranteed this was going to be an awfully bad film. And it is; the two-hundreth-and-thirty-eighth film of 2011 I’ve seen is officially also the worst one.

I don’t even know if I should go on for long about the state of this film. Dermot Mulroney, an actor best known probably for his performance in My Best Friend’s Wedding, the Julia Roberts flick from 1997, makes his directing debut with this film, and it’s just so excruciatingly trite and just plain bad it can actually get painful to watch. The direction is just so bad, like the guy just couldn’t juggle all the different moving parts and assemble them into something decent, and absolutely every actor on screen here suffers because of it. It’s like you had one of those really, really bad half-hour sitcoms that get cancelled on a fifth-place network after three episodes because they don’t have a single laugh in them, and you get that sitcom stretched for an extra hour and sold as a film. Avoid this one at all costs.

If you won’t avoid Love, Wedding, Marriage, and are interested in finding out how it will be able to use, abuse and just horribly execute every single cliché in the genre’s book, well, I guess I’ll tell you what it’s about. You have Mandy Moore and Kellan Lutz as a couple of newlyweds, and she’s actually a marriage counsellor who soon thereafter finds out that the marriage of her parents is heading towards a divorce out of nowhere, just shy of their thirtieth anniversary. So of course she’ll pull all the stops, and get into just some horribly generic situations, in the process of trying to get them back together, as her own personal and professional life is at stake as she does so. This is a romantic comedy that’s not really all that romantic and that’s certainly not funny. And Dermot Mulroney should really just stick to his day job.

There’s just so much stuff going on in this film that was pretty ridiculous to me, starting with the fact that we have to believe Mandy Moore as a girl with a PhD in psychology and Kellan Lutz as a super sophisticated wine guy. And then you get Eva, Ms. Moore’s character, just going crazy at the news of her parents impending divorce, not so much because they’re her parents but because she was planning them a surprise 30th anniversary party that will now be for nothing, except it will provide opportunities for her to just go nuts and have the film do its attempt at screwball comedy scenarios that fail as soon as they get started, watching her try to defend her sense of romanticism by trying to save her parents marriage with weird therapy sessions, all while her own husband is feeling ignored.

For a guy that’s starred in so many rom-coms, of pretty much every level of quality (I’m actually a fan of My Best Friend’s Wedding), Mr. Mulroney just brings absolutely nothing to the table in here, seemingly not a piece of advice that would make his actors any better. And while I like Mandy Moore just fine, and thought her voice-work in last year’s Tangled was quite great (I gave that film an A-), she’s not the kind of actress that can make a character like Eva work because not even her charm can get her to feel like a wacky kind of ditzy, and most of the time the character just seems plain crazy. Kellan Lutz is here for the same reasons he’s in the Twilight movies and for the reason he was in Immortals and for the reason he’s on Calvin Klein posters, because he has abs, he doesn’t have an ounce of acting chops. Gossip Girl‘s Jessica Szohr is also here as the obligatory wacky sibling these films have and at least she looks like she’s having some fun. And veteran actors Jane Seymour and James Brolin appear in some heavy unease about being in this predicament, even though their bits, particularly Mr. Brolin’s, are the best part about this film, though it’s still not even close to make this one bearable.

There’s not a single good laugh in this whole film, there may be a chuckle or two, but not a single good laugh in a film that’s a romantic comedy, not to mention the romantic side of things only fares slightly better. The film just makes itself busy with throwing these characters into kooky situations without having spent time prior to that actually building up the characters. This is a bad, bad film, a bad guide on how to be crappy at delivering clichés, and the worst movie experience of all 2011.

Grade: D-

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