Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011) - Review

by - January 19, 2019

Synopsis: A happy newlywed marriage counselor's views on wedded bliss get thrown for a loop when she finds out her parents are getting divorced.

Here comes the ride.

Six weeks after her wedding, Ava (Mandy Moore) is rocked by the news that her mother Betty (Jane Seymour) wants a divorce from her father, Bradley (James Brolin). Ava also happens to be a marriage counselor and takes it upon herself to try and mend her parents' fractured marriage while putting her own in jeopardy.

I had never heard of this movie before scrolling through Netflix last week and after watching it, I could kind of figure out why. Mandy Moore's Ava is a hopeless romantic who relies on her daily horoscope to help her make decisions, and yet she's a marriage counselor whose job it is to listen to couples whose relationships are in trouble and offer constructive and clinical advice. She's six weeks into her new marriage to Charlie (Kellan Lutz) when Betty declares she wants a divorce after discovering Bradley had slept with a woman twenty-five years earlier while they were separated. Of course, this triggers Ava's inner counselor and she begins to neglect her own young marriage to try and save her mom and dad's.

Bradley soon moves into Ava and Charlie's house, putting more strain on their marriage, though Ava barely seems to notice Charlie's unhappiness with the situation. She brushes him off when he reminds her that she can't save every marriage, and while Charlie is not perfect, he seems to be the only character in this movie with any lick of sense.

It's understandable that any child would want to try and keep their parents together, especially when they're thisclose to celebrating thirty years together. But while Ava's nonchalant sister Shelby (Jessica Szohr) takes the news in stride, Ava's actions become more desperate and manipulative, leading Charlie to question who she really is and why she really married him in the first place.

Sadly, Ava's last-ditch effort to reunite her parents actually works, which is a problem in of itself because it's pretty heinous and with that taken care of, it seems she can finally focus on resolving the issues in her own marriage, giving Ava everything she wants without any real consequence for how she went about getting them. Mandy Moore is fine as Ava, mostly because the script doesn't seem to give her much to work with, and there's really not much emotional range needed. Charlie is the voice of reason, but the role is made a bit bland by Kellan Lutz.

There's no real purpose to the supporting cast. Ava's sister Shelby fits the description of the hot free-spirited sister who lacks ambition and Betty and Bradley feel like every other rom-com couple on the verge of divorce, spouting pent up resentments and lamenting the loss of their youthful dreams until some outlandish, life-altering event makes them see just how good they've always had it. And of course, Charlie's best friend Gerber (Michael Weston) is a playboy who marries a Polish hottie in need of a green card and wouldn't you know it, their marriage seems to actually be perfect, complete with sex whenever he wants it. I imagine Julia Roberts's voice-only cameo as Ava's therapist was simply because she's friends with Dermot Mulroney (in his directorial debut here) and Christoper Lloyd shows up in what may be the only legitimately funny bit as Bradley and Betty's short-lived therapist.

Love, Wedding, Marriage is supposed to be a romantic comedy but there is very little romance and very little comedy. Instead, it was just very 'meh', offering nothing new to the genre. It took me a while to get through it, as more interesting things kept distracting me. I would rewind the parts I missed and then realized I didn't really miss anything at all.

Starring: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, Jane Seymour, James Brolin, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston
Directed by: Dermot Mulroney
Rated: PG-13
Watched: 01.18.2019
Fun Facts:
- Alexis Denisof and Alyson Hannigan, who play the couple in counseling at the beginning of the movie, are married in real life.
- The voice of Ava's therapist is none other than Julia Roberts.
Notable Song: Ain't That A Kick In The Head by Dean Martin

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