MPI // 2011 // 90 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Roman Martel (Retired) // September 13th, 2011
"The key to a successful marriage is to find those qualities that make you fall in love with your spouse again every day."
Wanna guess what happens when a marriage counselor tries to keep her parents from splitting up and maintain newlywed bliss with her new hubby?
Ava (Mandy Moore, Tangled) is a hopelessly romantic couples counselor who manages to remain positive about her clients' relationships even when they are are falling apart. And now that she's married to Charlie (Kellan Lutz, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) she's got valuable marriage experiences to draw from...at least that's the idea.
But then Ava's mother (Jane Seymour, Live and Let Die) and father (James Brolin, Catch Me if You Can) split up. Since Ava has based all of her romantic ideals on how well her parents get along, she goes a little off the deep end. Soon she's coming up with any scheme she can imagine to get her parents back together. At the same time she's neglecting Charlie and forcing him into some very awkward circumstances. Will Ava destroy her own marriage just to ensure her parents save theirs?
Love, Wedding, Marriage knows exactly what kind of movie it wants to be: a light, fluffy bit of romantic entertainment that won't tax your brain. The story is silly, the characters are likable and it all ends happily ever after.
Really what it boils down to is if you want to see this cast have some rom-com fun. Mandy Moore is her typical effervescent self. She's just so darn cute that even when she does some questionable (bordering on incredibly stupid) things, we laugh it off. Ava's heart is the right place even if she does subject Charlie to some idiotic moments.
Lutz is good as the handsome suffering husband. There isn't much to the role, but he makes a good partner and foil for Moore. His interaction with Brolin is also handled well, making me wish the two had a few more scenes together.
Seymour and Brolin seem to be having a good time as the couple that is falling apart. Both play it a little broadly, but the whole film has a screwball comedy aspect to it. Brolin does get a few scenes with a bit more dramatic heft to them. For all his character's bravado, he really does miss his wife. Even when he's goofing off with Charlie, there's a bit of sadness to his performance.
Keep your eyes peeled for a few fun cameos from various actors and actresses. These little moments are hit and miss, but it's fun to play "spot the star." One of the famous faces was behind the camera, as this was directed by actor Dermot Mulroney.
One more thing, Love, Wedding, Marriage was shot entirely in Louisiana and there is some great camerawork showing off the location. Most movies focus on New Orleans, but this movie shows us plenty of other locales around the state.
IFC provides an average release for the film. The Blu-ray transfer was handled well, showing off the golden hued cinematography. The sound on the 5.1 soundtrack was balanced nicely. The only extra you get is a theatrical trailer.
There's nothing new going on here. There is potential for some interesting dramatic situations, but the movie steers clear of those. For the most part it sticks with the silly premise and goes for light laughs and chuckles. Typical of your average rom-com, the characters must behave rather stupidly for certain plot points and jokes to work. Reality never really enters into the picture.
Ask me about Love, Wedding, Marriage in a few months, and I'm pretty certain I'll have forgotten all about it. While the cast and crew seem to be having a good time, there just isn't much to it at all. This is a bit of a shame because the premise could have been more interesting if the writing had dug a little deeper.
If the cast is appealing to you and you're in the mood for something light and fun for an romantic evening, then go for it.
Too fluffy to be guilty.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13