The Wedding Ringer, 2015.
Directed by Jeremy Garelick.
Starring Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Olivia Thirlby, Alan Ritchson, Josh Peck, Cloris Leachman and Jorge Garcia.
Two weeks shy of his wedding, a socially awkward guy enters into a charade by hiring the owner of a company that provides best men for grooms in need.
Confession time: I find Kevin Hart and his unlimited energy for hyperactive comedy antics a hoot. We are talking so funny to the point that I almost automatically to an extent can enjoy anything Kevin Hart is a part of. He knows how to deliver lines, make the most of his limited physical stature for laughs, and how to take his frenetic style of comedy and turn it into a sledgehammer of a weapon.
So it goes without saying that I did find parts of The Wedding Ringer hilarious, but make no mistake about it, is an extremely flawed movie with a plethora of faults that are hard to overlook. For starters, some of the movie feels unnecessarily mean-spirited, taking a couple of its jokes one step too far occasionally. It is not that the movie is offensive, but rather that the film is trying too hard to get a laugh. It’s also strange how far the movie is on the misogynistic side of the spectrum; there seriously isn’t one female character that stands for anything other than being a bitch or a whore. The script also tries to deliver some really weird messages, such as wedding days are only important to the bride.
In general the script is very awkward and in desperate need of a rewrite. The biggest reason why is that there is actually a good movie somewhere inside of The Wedding Ringer. It has a plot audiences can get behind that balances the pros and cons of loneliness and friendship, and a fairly generic good-willed message to not marry a woman just because she is attractive and will talk to you. None of this fully comes out because the film is too interested and turning its story into an outlandish unbelievable cartoon rather than explore those themes further.
On a related note, that’s the biggest frustration with The Wedding Ringer; it wants you to look at the friendship of the characters of Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in a serious light, but because there isn’t enough talent behind the pen everything is resorted to jokes that go on for far too long. The movie has a habit of taking a gag and turning it into a five-minute mini-adventure, essentially just dragging out the joke ruining everything. The only time it really works is when the boys have to play a football game against some elderly men, which actually turned out to be one of the funniest scenes in the movie (save for an EPIC Lost reference).
The Wedding Ringer is littered with humorous quips of dialogue here and there, some outrageous scenes, and a story that is genuinely trying to be earnest, but too often falls back on poorly implemented hit or miss crude humor. The plot is also a mess full of holes and gaps in logic, but at the very least the movie accomplishes its goal of occasionally being funny.
It’s still a misfire for Kevin Hart though, because he is one of the funniest men in Hollywood right now and should be working with more prolific directors that can take his strengths and utilize them in interesting ways. Until that day happens though, stuff like The Wedding Ringer is passable.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. He currently writes for Flickering Myth, We Got This Covered, and Wrestle Enigma. Follow me on Twitter.