Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review: The Wedding Ringer

Image courtesy of Screen Gems.
Movies like "The Wedding Ringer" are pretty much critic proof, meaning that the picture's success has very little to do with what those who review it think of it and more to do with marketing. That being said, this movie is not quite as bad as some of the other entrees in its genre - the crude, male-centric buddy comedy - although I can't exactly endorse it.

In the film, Kevin Hart - working with slightly better material than some of the other recent comedies in which he has starred - plays Jimmy Callahan, a guy whose career revolves around providing "best man services" to men getting married who have few friends.

In this case, he's providing support to the hapless Doug Harris (Josh Gad), a schlubby, but good natured fellow who is both parentless and friendless. Doug is engaged to an attractive young woman whom he believes is out of his league, so he wants his wedding to go off without a hitch.

Doug has lied to his fiancee about a best friend named Bic Mitchum, whose shoes Callahan is paid to fill. Callahan also has to round up a group of seven groomsmen, assembling a bunch of deadbeat types whom Doug says looks like the Goonies if they, and I quote, "grew up to be rapists."

Since this is your typical buddy comedy, there's a fair amount of raunch and physical comedy, including a grandmother who is set on fire, a football game with a group of rowdy and foul mouthed senior citizens and a sequence in which a man's, um, valuables are covered in peanut butter and attacked by a dog.

The problem with "The Wedding Ringer" is that it's just not that funny. There are a few laughs, but many of the jokes - and, unfortunately, often the ones that aren't particularly humorous - are repeated twice, in case any one didn't catch them the first time. One particularly curious example is a strange rendition of Nilsson's "Coconut."

However, while the film didn't make me laugh all that much, it's occasionally a likable enough effort due to the bromance chemistry between Hart and Gad. I can't recommend the film, but you could do much worse - especially in this genre.

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