Film Review: ‘Love Wedding Marriage’ Suffers From Vapid Dialogue, Embarrassing Performances


The Bottom Line

An annulment is in order.
Director

Dermot Mulroney
Screenwriters

Caprice Crane, Anouska Chydzik
Cast

Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston, Marta Zmuda, Richard Reid, Christopher Lloyd, Colleen Camp

Mandy Moore and Kellan Lutz star in Dermot Mulroney’s directorial debut, a flat romantic comedy about a psychologist who tries to save her parents’ marriage.

A romantic comedy that would have seemed insipid even in 1953, Love Wedding Marriage is one of those unnecessary films that makes your scream (or least wonder), “Why?” Why did anyone think this, instead of almost anything else, was worth making? Why did Dermot Mulroney decide that this was the right material for his directorial debut? Why is the normally smart IFC Films involved with this? The answers already lie among the mysteries of the ages. The film is available on VOD beginning May 1, with theatrical release to follow June 3.

Maybe someone who could swallow the idea of twentysomething Mandy Moore as a marriage counselor/psychologist could go along with the irksome inventions of the script by Caprice Crane, who, it is not surprising to learn, wrote numerous episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place, and Anouska Chydzik; Crane’s work is nothing if not consistent.

No sooner has she married vintner and Maserati-driving Charlie (90210 and Twilight hunk Kellan Lutz) than Moore’s Eva desperately dedicates herself to saving the marriage of her parents. Mom (Jane Seymour) has had it with crazy Dad (James Brolin), who runs around asserting his Jewishness (whether hereditary or newly acquired remains unclear), questioning whether or not his alcoholic beverages are kosher and nailing a mezuzah to his daughter’s doorframe even as she protests she’s not Jewish.

In the process, of course, Eva neglects her own marriage, which hits its biggest bump with the revelation that beefcake Charlie has never disclosed a secret prior marriage. Eva just doesn’t know if she can get over this betrayal, even as she works on her mom to forgive Dad his progressive lunacy and an equally inane deep dark secret of his own.

Supplied with uniformly vapid dialogue, the characters come off like a bunch of twits: Moore’s wide-eyed, open-mouthed reactions to every little surprise are those of a high school student, not a doctor; Lutz’s dyed blond hair does nothing to encourage taking him seriously; Brolin and Seymour have never played in such a caricatured manner, and cameos by Christopher Lloyd and Colleen Camp as eccentric therapists are embarrassing.

A surpassingly sappy musical score provides the syrup for this very flat pancake of a movie.

Opens: May 1 VOD, June 3 theatrically (IFC Films)
Production: Chydzik Media Group presents a Voodoo Pictures production
Cast: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston, Marta Zmuda, Richard Reid, Christopher Lloyd, Colleen Camp
Director: Dermot Mulroney
Screenwriters: Caprice Crane, Anouska Chydzik
Producer: Michelle Chydzik Sowa
Executive producers: Michael Arata, Jerry Daigle, Natalia Chydzik, Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman, Nathalie Marciano, Stefan Jacobs, Gary Raskin
Director of photography: Ottar Guonason
Production designer: Carlos Menendez
Costume designer: Antoinette Messan
PG-13 rating, 91 minutes

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