Jan 26, 2015

Review: Nearlyweds (2013)

I just watched a bad movie about weddings yesterday, so what exactly was stopping me from watching another? Good sense apparently. Good thing I don't have any or else I would've missed out on this wonderful Hallmark production which apparently is an adaptation of Beth Kendrick's novel of the same name.

This is the second Hallmark production I've watched that features the acting talents of country singer Naomi Judd in a supporting role, the first being Christmas movie Window Wonderland which came out in the same year. Featuring some surprisingly OK acting, that distinction doesn't really include Naomi Judd though. That's mostly because she doesn't do nearly as much heavy lifting as she does in Nearlyweds.


Genre: comedy, romance
Directed by: Mark Griffiths
Produced by: Jamie Goehring, Kat Green, William R. Greenblatt, etc.
Written by: Aury Wallington
Music by: Billy Lincoln
Running time: 90 minutes
Production company: Wonderfly Films, Pitchblack Pictures
Distributed by: The Hallmark Channel, Motion Picture Corporation of America, Disney Channel
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Britt Irvin, Ryan Kennedy, Travis Milne, Steve Bacic, Christie Laing, Naomi Judd, Charles Siegel, Jared Keeso, Chris Gauthier 



Friends Erin (Danielle Panabaker), Casey (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Stella (Britt Irvin) all got married in the same month to their respective boyfriends David (Ryan Kennedy), Nick (Travis Milne) and Mark (Steve Bacic). All three of them couldn't be happier as they begin their married lives. However, some significant doubts start growing in each of them, making them wonder if they really made the right decision. They get a letter in the mail saying that their priest (Charles Siegel) died recently and did not sign their marriage license, meaning they're not really married. Is this the get out of jail card that they need?


The opening of Nearlyweds makes it clear that I am not in the target market for this film in the least. A montage of our characters' three weddings are shown, all with a voice over of their priest as he explains the difference between a wedding and a marriage. It's girly, cutesy and gives off the impression that it's being directed by an eight-year old girl who enjoys holding tea parties with her stuffed animals while wearing a princess dress. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just clearly not for me.

Once we become acquainted with our three characters and their perfect lives, well it doesn't take long before we see what unique issues plague their marriages. The big problem here is, how on earth are any of these issues not something that they spotted before getting married? 

Erin's mother-in-law Renee (Naomi Judd) moves into her house on account of her condo being renovated for the next few months. This is all a big surprise to Erin since David never even told her that this was happening. David quickly reveals himself to be nothing more than a big momma's boy, doing whatever she asks him to and never standing up for his wife. It's a pitiful display really.

For Casey, she starts to doubt that her husband Nick truly loves her. They haven't gone for their honeymoon yet due to Nick being so busy at work and he even hires his attractive ex-girlfriend Anna (Christie Laing) from high school to be his assistant. More and more, it seems like he's spending more time with Anna at work than he is with his wife Casey, leading to multiple arguments. 

When it comes to Stella and her marriage, she starts to get pressured by Mark to have a baby with him which she's not ready for. She was under the impression they'd only start having children in several years and not a month after being married. Secretly, she's looking to start a career while Mark simply wants a trophy wife who stays at home and goes out shopping. 

Again, my big beef with all these issues is how come none of the main characters noticed these problems before marrying their men? Erin should have noticed that David was a momma's boy, Casey should've noticed that Nick is selfish and insensitive and Stella should have talked about her plans with Mark before marrying him. Is this how marriages work nowadays? No wonder everyone gets divorced. There wouldn't be any problems at all if Erin, Casey and Stella had had a serious conversation with their men before marrying them and used their heads a bit.

The other thing that really bothers me is that each of one of these issues are just so unbelievably sickening. I wanted to punch David in his momma boy's face. I wanted to significantly hurt Nick for being such a clueless idiot and I wanted to individually pluck each hair from Mark's stupid goatee. It's not believable for even a second that any real man could be as stupid as they are in Nearlyweds, but I guess I shouldn't be expecting much more from a Hallmark movie anyway. 

The bad performances that really stand out in Nearlyweds among the sea of bland are the ones that Travis Milne and Naomi Judd give. Judd in particular stands out like a sore thumb with dyed red hair. There's a scene where she pretends to have a heart attack that is incredibly difficult to watch, but believe it or not, her performance is good enough to fool her son David. 

The last thing I'll add before concluding since I wasn't planning on writing such a long writeup on a movie that doesn't deserve it is that it includes many a cliché during its ninety minutes. Casey's character in particular is problematic because she's that "regular" girl who wears glasses, t-shirts and wears her hair up. Once she has a makeover, she's suddenly stunning because she's taken off her glasses, put on a strapless dress and she's put her hair down. There's more, but there's no need to get into anything else, I think you get the idea. 

Nearlyweds as I said is not a movie for me since I'm clearly not in the demographic of who it has been made for. This is pure junk food for a certain crowd and junk food can be pretty good once in a while. I like junk food. Nearlyweds is for people who like puffy Cheetos, while I only like the crunchy ones myself. That's OK I guess. However, it still doesn't change the fact that Nearlyweds is an open bag of puffy Cheetos that's been sitting in a puddle for the last couple days.



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