ABOVE PHOTO: Josh Gad and Kevin Hart in The Wedding Ringer.
By Kendall Alexander
Doug Harris (Josh Gad, Frozen) is a lonely, lonely guy. He spends the first few minutes of the movie calling up random guys from his past asking if they will do him a solid and act as his best man for his upcoming nuptials. How the men react has audience members pitying him but also laughing out loud at his misfortune. This is a pretty big theme in the freshest comedy The Wedding Ringer.
Under the direction of Jeremy Garelick (The Break Up) chaos surrounds Doug Harris and bride-to-be Gretchen Palmer (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, “Big Bang Theory”) as they prepare for what is supposed to be the best day of their lives. During centerpiece selections, father Ed Palmer (Ken Howard) cannot help but express his discomfort for the entire situation, as fathers normally do when they are footing the bill for the event. Harris finds himself under major pressure, as he not only has to find a best man, but seven other groomsman for the ceremony—in less than two weeks. That’s when overly zealous wedding planner Edmundo (Ignacio Serricchio) points Harris in the direction of some highly unconventional help.
Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) steps in to offer his services as a paid best man. He gives all of the experience, without any of the real attachment. This works out for him for the most part, but his clients find themselves saddened that the experience is mostly illusionary. His job is to pull off a ‘golden tuxedo’ for Harris, which is virtually unheard of, especially under the tight deadline. Nonetheless, Callahan brings together a band of misfits to create a groom’s party.
Some elements that worked well in this film include the natural chemistry both Gad and Hart display on screen, as if they really are cool with each other when the cameras go off, physical comedy by the actors, the jokes and one-liners, and the appreciation of little known comedians (Affion Crockett, Corey Holcomb) brought into the making of the film.
Towards the end of the movie, things get sappy, turning it into a bromance-com, with attempts to turn it around with sexy women and drug references. The overall plot was predictable, but that didn’t stop audience members from enjoying the film start to finish.
Good (3 stars)
Rating: R for strong sexual content, language, and brief drug use.
Running time: 101 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems