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DVD Review: License to Wed

Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2007 3:42 PM. Last Updated on Thursday, December 6th, 2007 4:40 PM by Scott Jentsch

Front Cover ArtworkLicense to Wed
DVD
Warner Home Video 116069 - Region 1
91 minutes

List Price: $28.98 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

Available on DVD 10/30/2007

Rated PG-13

Additional Movie Details

 TheatricalThis DVD
Aspect Ratio:2.35:1 2.35:1
Audio:

Dolby Digital


Dolby Digital 5.1

 DTS 
 SDDS
 

Disc 1 Contents

  • Up-front Ads (6:50)
    • "Ocean's Thirteen" on DVD
    • "In the Land of Women" on DVD
    • "P.S. I Love You" in Theaters
    • "Seinfeld: Season 9" on DVD
    • "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on TV
  • Movie
    • Original Theatrical Aspect Ratio (Widescreen) Version
    • Cropped Pan and Scan Version
  • Extras
    • Additional Scenes
      • With Commentary by Director Ken Kwapis
      • Without Commentary
    • Ask Choir Boy

About the Movie

When Ben proposes to Sadie, he has thoughts of a Carribean wedding. Little does he know what he's in for when he agrees to be married in Sadie's childhood church, with the good Fr. Frank officiating! In order to improve the chances of success of the couples he marries, Fr. Frank has instituted a marriage prep course that everyone must pass before he lets them say "I do" in his church. Are Ben and Sadie right for each other, is Fr. Frank out of his mind? Who is the little kid with the James Gandolfini complex? All these answers and more await those who watch License to Wed.

How Does it Look?


Widescreen Screenshot

Pan-and-Scan Screenshot

This disc has two complete versions of the movie existed on the same side of this one DVD. The original theatrical aspect ratio is intact in the Widescreen version, and there is also a severely cropped "full screen" version for those that prefer to fill their old-style TV screen at the expense of composition (see example at the right). When I saw that both versions were on the same side of the disc, I was a little concerned that the picture quality would suffer from having to crank too hard on the compression lever to get both to fit. Fortunately, I didn't see any glaring problems with the picture quality as a result. This isn't exactly a demanding movie with any fog, explosions, or fast movement, so the encoding process probably wasn't a real challenge.

The overall look of the movie is traditional romantic comedy fare. This would be just at home being broadcast on Lifetime Television as it is on this DVD, but at least here, you have the ability to see the entire picture instead of what would surely be the ultra-cropped TV version.

How Does it Sound?

Romantic comedies aren't known for their engaging or demanding soundtracks, and License to Wed is no different. While there is some activity in the surrounds, you aren't missing anything if you're watching this in a stereo (or even mono) environment. Mother Nature will also thank you for not having to power your subwoofer for this one, as there isn't anything for it to do.

Extras

I like to see the theatrical trailer included with movies, so I'm disappointed that one isn't included on this DVD. Fortunately, we have the trailer (and other video clips) available on the movie's Trailers & Videos page. What we do have are the obligatory deleted scenes compilation with an optional commentary track by Director Ken Kwapis. I can't say I disagree with the exclusion of any of these scenes, except maybe the ending with Robin Williams and the choir boy kid.

The "Ask Choir Boy" section is just a set of short clips of the choir boy conducting a call-in radio show where people ask him questions about relationships and his witty answers. If you liked the kid's character, you'll probably enjoy this set of clips, but I didn't, so I didn't.

Conclusion

Romantic comedies aren't supposed to break new ground, and they don't have to in order to be successful. However, they do need to be interesting, and you should want to root for the couple to get together, stay together, or get back together, whichever the situation at hand is. Unfortunately, "License to Wed" fails to deliver. Setting the movie in Chicago certainly doesn't raise this movie to the level of another Chicago-based romantic comedy, "My Best Friend's Wedding," which is a contemporary classic of the genre.

Robin Williams is a master comedian, and he's not been allowed to fully stretch his wings in many, many years. He was funnier on an episode of the "In the Actors Studio" interview talk show than he was here. Maybe it's because of the PG-13 rating, I don't know, but the viewer ends up wincing at the inappropriateness of the forced humor more than should be expected of a comedy, and most of the characters are so paper-thin that you don't really care if Ben and Sadie get together at the end or not.

This movie is maybe worth a rental, but I would suggest skipping it and renting "My Best Friend's Wedding" instead. At least get both, so that you can stop watching this one a half-hour in like my wife did and switch movies.

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the DVD.

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