I Do (But I Don't) (2004) / Romance-Comedy

MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG for mild themes
Running time: 97 min.

Cast: Denise Richards, Dean Cain, Karen Cliche, Yannick Bisson, Catherine Colvey, David Lipper, Tim Rozon, Amy Sobol, Paul Stewart
Director: Kelly Makin
Screenplay: Eric Charmelo, Nicole Snyder
Review published May 7, 2005

Based on the novel by Cara Lockwood, I Do (But I Don't) tells of the trials and tribulations of a junior wedding consultant in trying to balance a career and her own personal love life, both of which seem to be vying for her constant attention.  After struggling but receiving almost no credit for her role as a miracle worker, keeping the most difficult weddings from falling apart, Lauren Crandell (Denise Richards, Undercover Brother) finally has her chance to move up in her career, if only she can keep the wedding of bitchy Chicago Pork Princess, Darla Tedenski (Karen Cliche, Riders), on track.  Meanwhile, she also happens to meet a hunky fireman named Nick Corona (Dean Cain, Out of Time), who she keeps running into, and the two form a flirtatious relationship that is quite welcome, given her recent separation from her philandering husband, Brad (David Lipper, Federal Protection).  Lauren takes great care to keep her professional and personal lives separate, but they both come crashing together when she discovers that the groom-to-be in her upcoming wedding may be none other than her adorable Nick himself. 

I Do (But I Don't) won't get any points for originality, as it is a derivative and predictable story full of contrived occurrences and easy-to-guess plot developments throughout.  One shouldn't expect great art coming from a film made to be shown directly on the Lifetime Channel, and this romantic comedy does little to dispute that assumption.  The on-again, off-again relationship between Nick and Lauren is full of misunderstandings that are very easy to resolve long before they happen to be in the movie, so for savvy rom-com viewers, there is a boredom factor that sets in quite often.

However, taken for what it is, it's not really all that bad either.  The actors are likeable in their roles, with second-tier actors Richards and Cain showing some workable charisma and chemistry, while the supporting players are well cast for their respective parts.  Although released on DVD, it is obvious when watching the film where the commercial breaks would be, and the look of the film has a made-for-TV feel, but all things considered, I Do (But I Don't) is competently made cable fare, which will probably meet the minimal standards of those who like light, old-fashioned romantic fare without the vulgar humor usually injected into theatrical releases.

"I do" recommend this for those who typically watch made-for-Lifetime productions, chick flicks, or romantic comedies of the most generic variety, but "I don't" for all other viewers, as the familiarity and predictability of the story never allows the comedy or romance to elevate itself into anything special.  It's little more than a family friendly regurgitation of The Wedding Planner, although it might even be slightly better.

Qwipster's rating:

2005 Vince Leo