You may not kiss the bride: A Review

We watch movies for many reasons. And they’re all valid reasons. Sometimes, we watch to appreciate art. Sometimes, we want to challenge our intellectual side. Other times, we just watch films to feel happy, and for such times, we have rom coms and buddy comedies. You may not kiss the bride, an indie movie written and directed by Rob Hedden and starring Dave Annable and Katharine McPhee is one such movie.

Pet photographer Bryan Lighthouse (Annable), leads a pretty boring life. In fact, the only excitement he gets is his awkward interactions with his wannabe model assistant Tonya (Mena Suvari) and his phone conversations with his crazy mom (Kathy Bates). But all the boredom comes to an end when he gets roped into marrying a Croatian mobster’s daughter Masha (McPhee), in order for her to secure a green card. When they go on their “honeymoon” however, Masha gets kidnapped and Bryan is suspected by his father in law to be behind the crime.

I had pretty low expectations from this movie when I read really bad reviews about it, mostly about the miscast of American idol alum Katharine Mcphee as a Croatian mobster’s daughter. To some point, I agree because her excuse for speaking perfect American English is kinda flimsy. I wasn’t getting the foreign vibe at all from her. However, aside from this fact, I would say she played a passable lead female character opposite Dave Annable, who is known for his more serious role as Justin Walker in Brothers and Sisters (I don’t really follow the show so it was my first time for me to see him on screen).

WEDDING DAY THREAT. Bryan’s father in law delivers a warning during the wedding. A pretty ominous beginning that makes.

Anyways, I had the impression that the film was going for a My Big Fat Greek Wedding vibe with the type of musical score and dry humor that they wanted the characters to have. The problem, perhaps is that the humor often falls flat, relying mainly on David’s baffled look and his character’s obvious discomfort to get some laughs. While this did not always work,  I liked his character because Bryan was consistent throughout the movie. He didn’t turn into Rambo or anything but just stayed true to his sensitive side. He didn’t exactly save the girl too (or did he? I’ll let you decide) but he had a really infectious grin, whether it be sheepish or rakish but he won me over with it so I guess that helped the romance part a bit.

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. This is one of the over the top scenes that kind of took away from the romantic side of the movie. Sure, Katharine Mcphee should be bathing in a fountain in front of a first class resort rather than waiting until she gets into her room sized bathroom to freshen up. And this is supposed to be sexy?

The main problem I had with the movie was that it was loaded with cliches. The characters are all boxed up and seemed left with no wiggle room left to explore their roles. There are really no surprises in this movie and after a while, the blackmail and the threats get kind of old because they keep returning to this part of the story. Rob Schneider tries to pitch in with his usual brand of weirdo humor but this too, falls flat because we’ve seen this type of character before on countless Adam Sandler movies. And without Adam to balance out Rob’s jokes, it just doesn’t work as well. Not for this type of movie at least where he plays a supporting character. Kathy Bates and Tia Carrere are also great additions to the cast but I felt like they were underutilized or misused by the filmmakers. Too bad.

As a rom com, You may not kiss the bride is certainly not the worst of the genre. It does have its sweet moments but the momentum just never kicked in because of the fragmented storytelling and abrupt transitioning. On the romance aspect, its quite passable, the comedy not so much. All in all, not an entirely bad effort. I probably would like to see Annable again in his future projects, but perhaps with more room to show his range in acting because I’m thinking this dude has serious chops that clearly was not highlighted with this fluff piece.

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