The Wedding Pact

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
The Wedding Pact Movie Poster Image
Romcom about true love is crass, immature, and boozy.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 92 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The Wedding Pact offers some positive messages about friendship and loyalty and following your heart.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are largely well intentioned but not exactly admirable. They drink excessively, make poor decisions, aren't honest with themselves or others about their feelings, and generally go around complicating other people's lives and remaining fairly oblivious about it until the bitter end.

Violence

Brief violence when a guy punches another guy in the face, knocking him out. In another scene, two men engage in a game wherein they whip each other with wet towels, including in the face and crotch, until one is too weak to continue.

 

Sex

Some sensuality and suggestion throughout, with the majority of women on-screen shown as sexualized. A woman dances around a room in lingerie. A man and a woman make out in a car while another man sits in the front seat; he leaves for them to take care of business, presumably intercourse. A man is shown leaving a woman's apartment as if to suggest intercourse. A man and woman kiss.

 

Language

Casual profanity used throughout, such as "what a douche," "kicked me in the nuts," and "bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Consistent drinking, often to excess, throughout the film. From college-graduation kegs to margaritas at a birthday party to shots and characters drinking away misery, the film contains multiple scenes of drinking at bars, parties, and the like. In one scene, some college-age students are shown driving and mention having just left a bar where multiple drinks were consumed. In another scene, two men down a bottle of liquor to calm pre-flight jitters at the airport, only to reveal that one of the men is the plane's pilot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Wedding Pact contains excessive drinking, some sensuality, frequent sexualizing of women, and frequent use of profanity or crass language, including terms such as "kicked me in the nuts" and "bitch." Though the story aims to be a sweet romantic comedy about true love persevering, there's a harshness and immaturity to the tone that make this movie better for older teens and up, though not necessarily quality viewing for anyone.

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What's the story?

Celebrating the end of college, best friends Mitch (Chris Soldevilla) and Elizabeth (Haylie Duff) make a joking pact that if neither is married in 10 years, they'll take each other up on the offer to get hitched. Ten years on, Mitch is still single and decides to track down his old pal to make good on the promise. But he discovers she's about to marry someone else, and things may be much more complicated than they seem.

Is it any good?

THE WEDDING PACT wants to be a Judd Apatow flick's blend of crassness, immaturity, and heart, but it only scores on the first two counts. Here, we have a series of unlikable male characters who seem barely interested in women as people, until Mitch decides he's totally alone and should have gone after the woman of his dreams 10 years ago. What follows feels like an imitation of better films with better actors with better chemistry, without the likability and energy. What's left is an empty, formulaic film that trades on excessive drinking, with most women as distractions and people making bad choices. Haylie Duff as Elizabeth has a genuine warmth and amiability, but it cannot save the tone-deafness of the rest of this film, which at best offers a good example of how not to be as a person. Parents, if teens think this might be a cute boy-girl film, direct elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how women are portrayed in the film. Many of them are shown dancing around in lingerie, coming on to men, suggesting a fling, or engaging in other stereotypes of female behavior. How do these depictions harm women? How could these characters have been written differently?

  • Does the true love in the film seem believable? Why, or why not?

  • How does the film stereotype what men want from relationships? If the main character was a woman who showed up to marry her old friend from college, how would the film be different? Would it be as funny?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love romance

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