“People believe because they have no reason not to.”
Just how important is having a best man? Pretty important if you don’t want others to think something is off with you. The Wedding Ringer serves up Doug Harris (Josh Gad), a nice and seemingly well-off man whose hefty exterior and lack of friends basically makes him a wearer of the lovable loser status. If there is one thing Doug ain’t losing in, it is his romantic life. In 10 days, the man is scheduled to marry his gorgeous fiance Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting).
But of course there is one problem, because the situation is too perfect not to have one. Doug has but not one man to serve as his honorary best, let alone a stable of them to make up his groomsmen. Thankfully, people like Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) exist and even run businesses for this very predicament. After groundwork is laid with the CEO of Best Man, Inc., Jimmy will not only become Doug’s best man as “Bic Callahan,”, but will also build a stable of accompanying ragtag groomsman. The “Golden Tux,” package, never pulled off before by Jimmy, is in full effect. Will it work?
Weddings are supposed to be a good time. The actual planning of said wedding? Perhaps not as much. The Wedding Ringer, from a viewing standpoint, feels much more in line with the tedious minutiae. Sure, if mass planning is a hobby, then it might not be so bad, and I’m sure that there are some fun aspects to it. The Wedding Ringer, just like how I imagine wedding planning will be, does possess some pleasant aspects but as a whole it isn’t enough to feel good about.
Honestly, there is a feeling had by yours truly that this could have been a grand disaster, and it is not. By that alone, it is a mild positive. This movie does bring a familiar but not completely worn premise that makes for some nice laughs. However, the intended big moments, the ones that surely the writers and director Jeremy Garelick banked on leaving guts sore, are more like an unprepared best man speech without direction that makes everyone look at the clock. There is one scene, featuring unanticipated cameos, that is unanticipated and truly entertaining, but the rest are beaten into the ground with how long they last, be it photo-taking, reception-dancing, or a wild bachelor party.
2015 may not be the Kevin Hart feature like 2014 felt like, but the man is clearly a big name in comedy that will likely continue to get work. He is supremely confident in himself, and that is unchanged here. It may not be the same character played, but the antics and delivery are consistent with past roles. Long story short, if you found him hilarious, unfunny, or somewhere in the between with his other stuff, that will likely be the same conclusion had here, with yours truly trending with the middling option. This time around, he tag-teams a film with Josh Gad, who works as the sort of non-assuming, dorky, and well-meaning guy.
Even with a mild script, comedic chemistry can elevate a terrible flick to bad, bad to average, so on and so forth. Gad and Hart do possess chemistry in TWR, but it may not be as strong as needed to overcome the try-too-hard moments/weak writing. In scenes where it is really just the two, which surprisingly isn’t a ton here, the jokes don’t always land but the percentage rate is higher.
Weddings usually have a lot of people in them, and so does this movie. Unfortunately, hardly any of these people are that noteworthy, starting with the groomsmen. Simply put, they are largely unfunny, which is a shame because there are funny guys like Affion Crockett, Corey Holcomb, and others who either appeared on Wild ‘N Out or look like they did. As the bride, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting plays a pretty standard role that is nothing more or less than what is asked. Her character eventually changes, but it comes pretty rapidly with little indication. When the first indication does come, because it is so obvious, it is like “So this is where the movie is going, huh?”
The Wedding Ringer could be a fun view to many people, and it isn’t downright awful. Hart fans should find more than enough in this R-rated comedy to enjoy. For others, it may be better to leave this one at the altar for the time being.
Photo credits go to dailymail.co.uk, mysanantonio.com, and popsugar.com.
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