The cookie cutter “I Do…Until I Don’t” quickly falls victim to crappy directing, lousy writing, and indifferent acting. The lackluster ensemble comedy of marriage is the brainchild of the usually funny Lake Bell, and it’s so bad that this one can’t simply be dismissed as a case of the sophomore slump. The film is so bad that if she doesn’t bring it with her next effort, this could end her career as a director and screenwriter.
Premise-wise, the movie doesn’t even start off with a good one. A jaded British documentary filmmaker (Dolly Wells) comes to Florida to find three dysfunctional couples as subjects for her movie. Alice (Bell) and Noah (Ed Helms) own a window coverings store and are unhappily trying to get pregnant, Harvey (Paul Reiser) and Cybil (Mary Steenburgen) are long-time marrieds who are tired of being together, and Fanny (Amber Heard) and Zander (Wyatt Cenac) are free spirited hippies with an open relationship. There’s nobody to really root for and I found myself almost instantly disengaged with the unlikable characters and the unpleasant story. If you enjoy watching couples fight for 90 minutes, be my guest.
Dreadfully slow and completely uninteresting for its first half, the film rapidly goes downhill — and things don’t get much better until Heard shows up. She and Reiser are the only bright spots in this mess.
What follows are repeated unfunny, clunky attempts at humor, and the few lines that are funny are due to reference humor more than being anything original or inspired. Across the board, the jokes fall flat and the premises that glisten with the slightest hint of comedy potential (like Alice getting hired at a rub and tug massage parlor) ultimately go nowhere.
Worst of all, Bell can’t decide between making the film a biting indie or a crowd-pleasing, maudlin, feel good movie and the tone is uneven. In one word, this one is “lacking” in all areas.