A Merry Christmas Culture Clash
Warning, if you are an extremely religious person who is easily offended by overly religious stereotypes and poking fun at those stereotypes then you had better give "Will You Merry Me?" a miss as it could offend. That out of the way with "Will You Merry Me?" is basically a Christmas culture clash comedy but one which is intentionally over the top. From the sweet romance, the characters, the Christmas spirit and the whole clash of cultures absolutely everything is really and intentionally over the top to admittedly the point of sometimes being painful. But along the way "Will You Merry Me? is a whole lot of fun, that is when you accept that this movie isn't a dig at over the top Christians or over cynical Jews just an over the top Christmas culture clash comedy.
6 months after meeting and falling in love when they both went after the same apartment Henry (Tommy Lioutas - The Circuit) and Rebecca (Vikki Krinsky) are not just in love but have got engaged. The trouble is that Rebecca's family are not only Jewish but from L.A. whilst Henry's family are mid-western small town Christians. That causes plenty of issues when it is decided that they should all meet at Henry's parents before Christmas because they love Christmas and have little idea about Hanukah, whilst Rebecca's mum is cynical and sarcastic. But as their parents end up bickering it causes issues between Henry and Rebecca who begin to wonder whether they really are ready for marriage.
Within the first 10 minutes of "Will You Merry Me?" it lays its cards firmly on the table with some excruciatingly cheesy scenes from Rebecca decorating a store window to the cheesiest of scenes revolving around how Rebecca and Henry met as well as the proposal. It is so over the top it is ridiculous but strangely amusing and the rest of the movie is exactly the same especially when we quickly get to the culture clash part as the future in-laws meet. From Rebecca's mum being overly cynical and constantly sniping to Henry's mum being so small town and in love with Christmas that it is more than corny. And the overload of Christmas, from houses covered in lights to festive salads full of jelly and marshmallows, it is way over the top and dumb but fun for being so dumb.
Now "Will You Merry Me?" is not unique in being so over the top but unlike other movies which fall on their face by being too full on this one works thanks to some good casting. Remembering that the whole point of the movie is to be OTT both Vikki Krinsky and Tommy Lioutas are entertaining as the overly cute couple stuck in the middle of families clashing. Wendie Malick and Cynthia Stevenson are perfect as the contrasting and competitive mothers whilst Patrick McKenna and David Eisner are equally as good as the calming husbands who just want a quiet life.
What this all boils down to is that "Will You Merry Me?" is like being over zealous with the Christmas candy, it is over the top and at times really painful but along the way it is a whole lot of fun as long as you are not offended by intntional OTT cultural stereotypes.