‘You May Not Kiss the Bride’ is a charming tale of adventurous high jinx and budding romance involving an unassuming pet photographer (Dave Annable) who is thrown head first into a series of unforeseeable events when he’s forced to marry a Croatian mobster’s daughter (Katharine McPhee) and spend his honeymoon at a secluded Tahitian resort where the bride is kidnapped.
When you take a movie and decide to do something specific with it, then you can create a vision for the project. Others buy in to the idea and you eventually get a movie that has direction and at a minimum, common sense. You May Not Kiss The Bride has all of the elements in place to be an awesome romantic movie. It has all the elements in place to be a great romantic comedy. It even has all the elements in place to be a screw-ball comedy such as most any Adam Sandler flick or the classic Dumb and Dumber genre of film. The problem is director Rob Hedden has no clue which one he wants to make. As such, elements of them all (plus a bit of an action flick) get mashed together into an absolutely incoherent script of confusion.
The script really calls for screwball comedy because it is so outrageously silly that nobody should take it seriously. In fact, I am actually dreading writing the plot synopsis that is to follow because I am almost certain my readers will not follow it completely. (you should try following it on screen)
Here is my best try.
There is a guy named Bryan (Dave Annable) that shoots pictures of pets for a living. He has a secretary/assistant that has the hots for him named Tonya (Mena Suvari). She makes a boo boo with the wrong pet and suddenly Bryan is being strong armed by a gangster named Vadik (Ken Davitian) to marry his foreign daughter Masha (Katharine McPhee) for a green card only. (She is actually beholden to another mobster/enforcer named Brick (Vinnie Jones). Brick is going to be very upset if he actually touches his intended bride, so this is a scam marriage only for a green card. The Masha and Bryan end up going on a Tahitian honeymoon to prove they are for real for immigration (what?) and Masha ends up kidnapped. From here things get really confusing…
See my point? The script and the insanity of it all doom it to failure unless this is meant to be a madcap caper of almost Airplane quality. It would have to intend to be dumb to work.
Sadly that is not the case.
One minute the movie is charming and lovable, and the next it is insanely action packed. Then it is screw ball funny with hijinks everywhere. You end up feeling as though you need a nerve pill to slow things down.
More insanity is the casting.
Don’t get me wrong, the cast is top notch and fantastic and that is sort of the point. Kathy Bates, who is one of the greatest actresses of our time, is put into a role that makes absolutely no sense and has no bearing whatsoever on the movie. She plays the mother of Bryan who is via phone only. Rob Schneider plays the usual character he always seems to play but it does not work against the backdrop of the cast presented. Schneider has always worked as a background character among nutjobs in Adam Sandler’s movies…he belonged.
There are other examples but they are all similar to the ones above. The lone shining star in the film is actually McPhee who is wonderful in her role of the daughter and bride Masha. For some reason, she is the only believable character in the entire movie for me. Someone really should speak with her agent about signing her up for movies like this. She is so much better than that already in her young acting career. I hope she gets something stronger in the future.