The Wedding Consultant
It would be so easy for me to say that Lifetime move "I Do (But I Don't)" is just a made for TV knock off of "The Wedding Planner" but whilst it shares a far few similarities it isn't a knock off. In truth the first half of "I Do (But I Don't)" plays out more like a Doris Day and Rock Hudson movie with a touch of confusion, Denise Richards doing slightly uptight and Dean Cain oozing charm. But whilst it is slightly reminiscent of those Day & Hudson romantic comedies it isn't in the same league and is unable to shed its made for TV roots, from OTT characters to over use of narration as a short cut in delivery of the storyline keeping it only mildly entertaining at best.
Lauren Crandell (Denise Richards - The World Is Not Enough) is a junior wedding consultant working for Gennifer (Jessica Walter) who owns "Tying the Knot" and has to put up with Gennifer taking all the credit for her work. When they get a last minute job organizing the prestigious Tedanski wedding Lauren knows for sure that Gennifer will do what she always does; leave her to organize it all and then swan in at the last minute to get all the praise. But this wedding is more complicated than ever when Lauren meets the charming and hunky fireman Nick Corina (Dean Cain - Out of Time) as whilst it is obvious he likes her she believes he is the Corina who is due to marry Darla Tedanski. And that is not the only problem which Lauren faces as she also has her cheating ex husband who is trying to worm his way back in.
Let's be honest, if you know your movies and read that a wedding consultant falls for a handsome man she believes is the groom the chances are you will think of "The Wedding Planner" starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. And in fairness "I Do (But I Don't)" certainly feels like it has used some of the ideas from that big screen romantic comedy within its story, but it isn't just a small screen rehash in fact it comes up with its own ideas. Okay I say own ideas but in truth it delivers a convoluted confusion comedy as Lauren thinks that hunky Nick is the groom and so feels guilty as Nick sets about charming her. In doing so it feels more like a Doris Day and Rock Hudson movie where Denise Richards does the frantic and Dean Cain turns on the charm as he flashes those pearly whites.
But I did say that "I Do (But I Don't)" is a convoluted confusion comedy and what I will say is that whilst the movie ends up where you expect it has some fun along the way by springing a few amusing surprises on you. I'd love to tell you what they were but in truth they are what make the movie worth watching as the rest of it is very typical of its TV movie roots. What I mean by that is we are treated, and often annoyed by a narration from Lauren to bridge the gap between scenes in order to keep things at a decent running length. And even more typical of both being a TV movie and a Wedding movie is the obligatory camp friend who is an unsurprising OTT camp caricature.
The thing is that "I Do (But I Don't)" is easy to knock as it is often cheesy, less than subtle and rarely original but it is also surprisingly easy to watch. There are times when the combination of Denise Richards and Dean Cain is actually quite pleasant; in fact the movie is at its best when these two share a scene as when they are apart their characters turn into cheesy caricatures. And whilst Jessica Walter as Gennifer is one annoying character she is intentionally so and occasionally quite amusing especially with her dog Snickers.
What this all boils down to is that "I Do (But I Don't)" is a fun made for TV romantic comedy which is similar to "The Wedding Planner" but at times has a touch of the Doris Day & Rock Hudson about it. It isn't by and stretch of the imagination a great movie but it is easy to watch.