I Do (But I Don't)

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I Do (But I Don't)
Directed by Kelly Makin
Written by Cara Lockwood (novel)
Eric C. Charmelo (teleplay) (as Eric Charmelo)
Nicole Snyder (teleplay)
Starring Denise Richards
Dean Cain
Karen Cliche
Olivia Palenstein
Mimi Kuzyk
Music by Danny Lux
Release date
  • 2004 (2004)
Country United States
Language English

I Do (But I Don't) is a 2004 American made-for-television romantic comedy film starring Denise Richards, Dean Cain, Karen Cliche, Olivia Palenstein and Mimi Kuzyk. It was directed by Kelly Makin and written by Cara Lockwood and Eric C. Charmelo. The film is based on the Cara Lockwood romance novel of the same name.


Junior wedding planner Lauren Crandell (Denise Richards) is assigned a wedding for Darla Tedanski (Karen Cliche), the daughter of a prominent family by her boss Gennifer "G" (Jessica Walter), who promises her a long overdue promotion if she does well.

That night, Lauren's mother Cookie (Mimi Kuzyk) invites Lauren and Lauren's one-year-separated husband Brad (David Lipper) to dinner. Not knowing Brad cheated on Lauren, Cookie wants Lauren to give the marriage a second chance, but all Lauren wants is for Brad to stop stalling and sign the divorce papers she sent him weeks ago.

The next day, Lauren meets quirky, hunk firefighter Nick Corina (Dean Cain) when he rescues a groom from a failed 'grand entrance.' She feels an immediate attraction, but when Lauren accidentally meets Nick again that night, she sees Darla hanging on him. Yes, when she checks, Darla's groom is "James Nicholas Corina." She tries to forget Nick and focus on Darla's wedding plans while a bridal magazine interviews G, who takes sole credit for all their weddings - for which Lauren has done most of the work. Darla turns out to be a "Bridezilla", a controlling, egotistical child of privilege who has lost perspective about her wedding day. Lauren's main relief is the humour and camaraderie of Marc (Barry Julien), Darla's long-suffering, overtly gay aide.

That evening, Lauren is placed at the same table as Nick at the Fireman's Ball. She rationalizes her attraction and Nick's flirtations as Nick getting cold feet about the wedding, until Nick saves her from dancing with his drunk brother Jay (Yannick Bisson). As Lauren and Nick dance, their attraction increases, and Nick leans in for a kiss, making Lauren aware she should leave. Nick invites her to lunch, but she uses a wedding as an excuse - so Nick invites himself to the wedding.

At the wedding the next day, G's ill-behaved dog tears off part of the bridal gown. Nick shows up and helps her get back the gown-part. She fixes the gown in time for the wedding, and Nick compliments them both on what a great team they make. When she tries to keep the conversation professional, Nick asks her to okay a possible reception locale.

Nick takes Lauren through a beautiful park, on a romantic rowboat ride, and to a little carnival. She says it is beautiful, but this would be a difficult to cater, plus Darla wants a formal reception. Nick offers Lauren a carousel ride before they return. He wants to talk about 'him and her' after the ride, and she retreats again, only to twist an ankle getting off the still-moving ride. Nick carries her to an ER over her protests, and takes her (loopy with painkillers) back to her place. Lauren's sister Lily is staying over, but is not in when they get there. Lauren murmurs to Nick that he is cute and she knows she shouldn't like him before passing out; Nick stays so that Lauren is not left alone.

The next morning, Nick fixes breakfast for Lauren and Lily (Amy Sobol), who gives Lauren a go-for-him! thumbs-up behind Nick's back. Nick invites Lauren to meet him at the fire-station that night for dinner. Lauren says she doesn't date clients, so Nick says fine-then he is out of the wedding, and kisses her on the way out while she reels from this new bombshell.

An 'emergency' meeting with Darla at the office - thankfully, over the guest list, not the groom cancelling the wedding! - is supposed to include the groom, too. Jay appears, and Lauren finds out that HE is the groom (Jay = James), not Nick, who is the best man. Relieved, she goes to the fire-station to meet Nick that evening.

They have a romantic rooftop date al fresco, and Lauren admits she was reluctant to show her attraction because she thought he and Darla were together. Nick says they dated briefly but were never a couple - Darla is not his type. When Nick talks about what he wants in a woman, he doesn't notice Lauren's momentary reaction to 'unmarried.' The rest of the date is perfect and they end up making love at Nick's apartment.

The next day, Darla's mother Lynda (Catherine Colvey) tells Lauren she caught Darla in flagrante delicto with someone who looked like Nick. Lauren avoids Nick's calls, trying to sort out her own trust issues.

Next, Darla demands that Lauren move the wedding up to this Saturday; she says she's pregnant, but the child is not Jay's. Lauren loses her temper, accusing Darla of hurting everyone who cares about her and Darla leaves angry.

That night, Brad tries to reconcile with Lauren. He gets nowhere, and Lauren insists he finally sign the divorce papers. On his way out, he meets Nick arriving with flowers. Brad tells Nick that he is Lauren's husband, and Nick leaves.

After much frantic activity, all is ready for Darla's accelerated wedding. Lauren wants everything perfect, despite her dislike of Darla, her own hurt feelings, and her resurfaced issues of trust. But she walks in on Darla and yet another Corina brother, Rick (Tim Rozon) half-dressed. Relief that Nick was not the one sleeping with Darla doesn't make her forgive Darla's continued selfishness, and she is lecturing them both when Jay arrives. Jay and Rick get into a brawl, which neither Lauren, nor the next-to-arrive Nick can stop. It requires G laying down the law to end it, after which she orders people to drink from her hip flask and get ready for the ceremony. Lauren apologizes to Nick for thinking he was sleeping with Darla, but he interrupts that he's met Brad and knows that SHE was trying to have an affair on HER husband with him, leaving Lauren in shock.

During the wedding, Darla, Jay and Nick are angry, Jay, Rick and Lauren are drunk, and all three brothers and Lauren show signs of the brawl. Then Jay states that he does NOT take Darla, and she says SHE would not marry HIM, either - she is in love with, and carrying the baby of, his brother Rick. Jay leaves, and a dazed Rick moves into Jay's place. At the reception, a drunken Lauren tells off several people, until Nick leads her away. She tries to explain that she is divorcing Brad, and he tells her it doesn't matter - she didn't trust him. He leaves and G fires Lauren.

The following morning, Lily vainly tries to comfort a hung-over Lauren. The only bright spot is that Lauren no longer works for G. Delivered flowers momentarily bring Lauren hope, but they are from Lily's ex asking her to reconcile - life is full of surprises. Lily tells Lauren that their mom wants to see Lauren for brunch.

Cookie tells Lauren that the magazine article praises Junior Wedding Planners like Lauren - G is not even mentioned. Why doesn't Lauren share this with Brad? Lauren finally tells her that Brad is an adulterer. Cookie is horrified that she has been trying to reunite them, and Lauren admits that she was ashamed to tell her mother-with-a-perfect-marriage about her own failure. Cookie says that she always has been and always will be proud of Lauren.

Lauren visits the office and G begs her to come back. Lauren refuses, but acknowledges to herself that she misses the challenges and joys of her job. She also knows that distrusting Nick drove him away. She takes her mom's and sister's feedback and decides to try to carve out a new future for herself.

Lauren goes to the fire station, where she finds only Jay - Rick is in Tahiti on Jay's honeymoon, and Nick will be finishing up after a fire for hours yet. Lauren says this can't wait, and Jay gives her a ride with sirens wailing and lights flashing to the site. Lauren approaches Nick and says that he was right - she had trust issues. But she knows that Nick is worth risking being hurt, and asks him to give her a second chance. They hug and kiss, as the fire crew applauds.

Six months later, Lauren in her own wedding consultant business with her assistant Marc is getting ready for a ceremony - Nick and Lauren's wedding, held at the carnival with Jay as best man. Several fire-fighter guests get paged and have to rush off, but Lauren has learned that the love is what is most important to making a 'perfect' ceremony, and the slight disruption does not bother either the bride or groom.


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