Included in the opening credits for You May Not Kiss The Bride is this: “A film by Rob Hedden &
Friends.” That addition of “& Friends” immediately makes me warm to this
film. You May Not Kiss The Bride is
an odd (and sometimes endearing) combination of slapstick, romantic comedy,
action film, and gangster picture.
Bryan (Dave Annable) works as a pet photographer, and in
the first scene he is trying to get two dogs to smile for a joke wedding photo.
His assistant, Tonya (Mena Suvari), asks the animals’ owners how long the dogs
have been dating. She says, “I know you
have to multiply it by seven or something, but I’m just trying to get an idea
of how long to go out with somebody before tying the knot.” And that’s the
first laugh-out-loud moment for me.
Mena Suvari is wonderful as the quirky assistant who suddenly
reveals that she is attracted to Bryan, telling him, “If I moved in with you, I’d never be late to work.” He suggests she
purchase an alarm clock.
Meanwhile a Croatian gangster (Ken Davitian) is
attempting to bribe two INS agents to expedite his daughter’s citizenship. They
turn down his offer of $10,000, and warn him they will now be keeping a closer
eye on his daughter. So he needs to find another way to facilitate her
There is some stuff that is ridiculous and doesn’t quite work,
like an early scene of a client’s dog chasing another client’s cat. Though it
then turns out that the gangster is husband to the woman with the cat, so he
has Bryan kidnaped and brought to his restaurant, where he gives him this
ultimatum: Bryan must marry his daughter so she can become a citizen. It will
be for only a year, after which she’s going to marry Brick (Vinnie Jones), one
of his goons, who is the jealous type (uh-oh).
Bryan meets Masha (Katharine McPhee), the woman he is to
marry, and of course she’s beautiful. Will he fall for her, and risk the wrath
of Brick and Masha’s father? What do you think? They go on their honeymoon, for
the sake of appearances, but Bryan is warned not to lay a finger on her.
By the way, most of this film was shot in Hawaii, and the
locations are gorgeous. Of course, both
Brick and Tonya show up for their honeymoon, to complicate things. And then
Masha is kidnaped, and Bryan has to rescue her.
I have to admit, I totally got caught up in the rescue scenes. Though
I’m still not sure how they landed on a rock cliff by the ocean after sliding
down a hill in the jungle. Ah, the magic of editing.
Rob Schneider shows up as a nutty tour guide to let us
know not to take this film at all seriously. When he gets them to their hotel, Masha
cleans herself in a nearby fountain in slow motion, and I’m reminded of that
great scene from L.A. Story where
Steve Martin hits the “Slo-Mo” knob on his shower.
Kathy Bates is great as Bryan’s mom. She’s hilarious in
the scene where Bryan tells her that he’s being forced to marry this woman. She
asks, “Do you love her?” and “Is she old enough to bear children?” But
she isn’t given enough to do. All of her scenes are on the phone with Bryan, and
she basically does the same shtick in each scene. So soon her sex talk with her
son gets a little old. By the way, the wonderful Stephen Tobolowsky makes an appearance
as a plumber at Kathy Bates’ house, but for just a moment. He is in only two
scenes and barely says a word. His character, sadly, is completely pointless.
There are some moments that don’t quite work, or aren’t
believable. For example, Tonya surprises Bryan in his apartment dressed in a
sexy cat outfit. She says she’ll let him pose her and take pictures. There’s no
way he could turn that down. But that’s just what he does. I find that
basically impossible to believe. Sure, her character is insane, but she’s
already on his bed and dressed as a cat.
Later, on the honeymoon, Bryan takes photos of Masha on
the beach. He then puts his camera down on the sand without putting the lens
cap back on, which I just don’t believe. He’s a professional photographer.
There is no way he would risk damaging his expensive camera that way. And then
the bit about him being so worried about his nudity is rather lame, and is
something we’ve seen many, many times.
But as I said there is a lot to like about this film.
Both leads do a good job. I really like Katharine McPhee’s portrayal of Masha,
as she doesn’t play her as helpless, or ignorant or an idiot. This is a woman
who knows the score. And anyway it’s not a film that demands to be taken
This DVD has two bonus features. The first is a
nine-and-a-half-minute interview with Mena Suvari. Sadly, it’s a total fluff
piece, in which she answers such probing questions as “What were the best parts
about shooting on location?” and “What was your favorite scene?” and “What’s
your opinion on doing a comedy?” She doesn’t come off very well, mainly because
she really doesn’t say anything.
The other bonus feature is the film’s trailer.
You May Not Kiss
The Bride was written and directed by Rob Hedden, who also wrote and directed Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
You May Not Kiss
The Bride is scheduled to be released on February 5, 2013 through
Freestyle Digital Media.