License to Wed parents guide

License to Wed Parent Guide

Overall C-

Reverend Frank (Robin Williams) will only give engaged couple Sadie Jones and Ben Murphy (Mandy Moore and John Krasinski) license to wed after they have taken his marriage preparation course. But the anticipated challenges of married life pale in comparison to the rigorous and ridiculous tasks the two must accomplish to pass his test.

Release date July 2, 2007

Violence B-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C-
Substance Use C+

Why is License to Wed rated PG-13? The MPAA rated License to Wed PG-13 for sexual humor and language

Run Time: 91 minutes

Parent Movie Review

With the national divorce rate hovering around the 50% mark, it seems anyone intent on marrying would want to improve the odds for success. But taking a marriage preparation class from Reverend Frank (Robin Williams) may be the last thing a couple should do.

As the religious leader of St. Augustine’s church, Frank’s prenuptial course is as unconventional as his approach to teaching the Ten Commandments. During the ongoing seminars, he effectively puts an engaged couple through a matrimonial wringer. But, Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) has always dreamt of a traditional wedding in the grand old cathedral. And although she hasn’t been to church in a decade, she is willing to go through the program in order to walk down the hallowed aisle. On the other hand, her fiancŽ, Ben (John Krasinski), would prefer a tropical ceremony, yet he’s willing to go along with Sadie’s wishes.

However, neither one of them anticipates the kind of radical exercises the Reverend has in his curriculum. Setting up a strict set of rules, Frank drags Sadie and Ben through a depressing marriage enrichment evening at a local bar, traipses them through the labor and delivery corridor of the hospital and then hands over two maniacal, mechanical “babies” for the couple to “parent.” Moreover, to ensure the cohabitating duo gives up intimacy and keeps their relationship purely platonic until after the wedding, the Reverend has his understudy (Josh Flitter) secretly plant a microphone in the pair’s bedroom.

But rather than bringing the young adults closer to taking their vows, this cleric triggers all kinds of contention between the bride and groom as well as with the future in-laws. Goading them on from one argument to the next, he’s seems intent on promoting disharmony rather than real communication.

While audiences are supposed to believe the father knows best, it is hard to have faith in an impious religious leader who continually spews out sexual innuendo and resorts to illegal and unethical activities during the course of his counseling. As well, viewers have to put up with a cheeky depiction of a religious healing prayer, repeated irreverent profanities and other vulgarities including a bleeped sexual expletive.

Positive portrayals of marriage are also non-existent. Ben’s best man (DeRay Davis), who is married with children, suffers from wanderlust when it comes to other women. Sadie’s divorced sister (Christine Taylor) and even her parents (Peter Strauss, Roxanne Hart) are also hardly worthy role models, making it hard to understand why Ben and Sadie would continue with the Reverend’s degrading and antagonizing lessons.

Yet like most romantic comedies, License to Wed feels compelled to conjure up a happy ending—no matter how contrived it feels after enduring Reverend Frank’s pop culture brand of spiritual guidance. Rather than promoting wedded bliss, this film’s farcical approach to marriage prep makes a mockery of matrimony.

Starring Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release July 2, 2007. Updated

License to Wed
Rating & Content Info

Why is License to Wed rated PG-13? License to Wed is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual humor and language

Although he is a man of the cloth, Rev. Frank’s approach to marriage counseling includes the frequent use of slang terms for anatomy and sexual activity as well as irreverent portrayals of priestly duties such as prayer and teaching youth. While there is no visual activity, sexual discussions also happen between other characters. Alcohol consumption, sometimes to the point of drunkenness, and a casual drug reference are part of the script, along with some slapstick portrayals of a man being punched in the nose, another being hit in the face with a ball and an elderly man in a wheelchair running into a car. When the pair’s mechanical babies defecate, urinate and have a meltdown in a department store, Ben loses control, forcefully shaking the baby and smashing it against a counter until it loses it’s head. Family members and the engaged couple are also pushed to fight on several occasions. Numerous terms of Deity, vulgarities and a bleeped sexual expletive are also used.

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License to Wed Parents' Guide

Many religious organizations offer marriage preparation and marriage enrichment classes. Does this film accurately portray what happens in those sessions? What things are important for a bride and groom to discuss before taking their vows? How might individual attitudes toward work habits, leisure time, household responsibilities, future family, and religious views affect a marriage?

What do Sadie and Ben learn about the value of communication? How do their styles differ?

Does the portrayal of religious characters in this film affect the way you feel about religion or seeking spiritual guidance?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of License to Wed movie is October 29, 2007. Here are some details…

DVD Release Date: 30 October 2007

License to Wed waltzes down the isle and onto DVD with very little fanfare. Presented in wide or full screen, the disc offers audio tracks in Dolby Surround 5.1 (English, Spanish and French).

Related home video titles:

Weddings can cause all kinds of havoc in families. In Father of the Bride, a dad deals with an out-of-control event planner that has big ideas for his daughter’s upcoming nuptials. A pastor counsels a young career woman who is suddenly left in charge of her sister’s three children in Raising Helen.

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