Saturday, January 24, 2015

Movie Review: "The Wedding Ringer" (2015)

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Movie"The Wedding Ringer"
Director: Jeremy Garelick
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is about to tie the knot with his fiancĂ© Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), a woman he's always seen as way out of his league. Gretchen expects him to have a best man and seven groomsmen for their wedding. The only problem is that Doug doesn't have any friends. With no friends to fill those slots, Doug hires Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), the owner and operator of The Best Man, Inc., to be his best man. Jimmy will also find Doug the seven groomsmen he needs, but for a price. As part of the package Doug bought, Jimmy acts as his fake best friend leading up to the wedding, but also shows Doug the time of his life. 

Trailers do both a service and a disservice to the movie-going public that can go either way. First, the trailer can lay out each and every single thing that is going to happen in a movie which is often the case with most trailers. Or, the trailer can be so misleading that it feels like you're watching another movie entirely. Though most of what is going to happen in "The Wedding Ringer" is pretty much disclosed in the trailer, our reaction to the movie is definitely not how we thought it would go down! The trailer had us groaning so ridiculously hard that we weren't even sure if we wanted to see this film. In fact, we may have projected our initial hatred of this movie onto other people. #WeAreOnlyHuman

Well, we're willing to admit when we're wrong, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that this was a Kevin Hart movie that actually made us laugh, and quite a bit at that! Usually, Hart is a one-trick pony for us with his signature brand of obnoxious and loud humor, and though this is mostly the case here, for some reason, it worked when he was paired up with Josh Gad. The two of them worked really well together on screen, to our surprise! A lot of the "bigger" jokes that filmmakers thought were going to be slam-dunks were not so for us. When we say "bigger," we mean the ones that were supposed to be surefire hits, you know, the ones about race, sexist diatribes, weight and rape. Seriously, Hollywood, can we stop with the rape jokes? THEY AREN'T FUNNY. EVER. There is also one scene during Doug's bachelor party that involves and dog and peanut butter, and well, we'll let you use your imagination for the rest. This went waaaaay over the line. The humor that worked so well in this movie was the subtle dialogue and the quippy afterthoughts by both Gad and Hart, as well as Gad's band of misfit groomsmen. What a group of weirdos. Sure, the rest of these subtle exchanges are raunchy and sometimes grotesque and bizarre, but hey, it's an R-rated comedy! And we're speaking to the people who sat behind us at our movie showing who brought her middle-school aged daughters to this movie. What were you thinking?!

There is a bit of touching Hart, errr, heart in this movie, but it's nothing you can't see coming a mile away. In fact, it's very obvious from the very first opening interaction between Josh Gad's Doug and his sweetheart Gretchen, played by Kaley "I'm not a feminist" Cuoco-Sweeting, that she is just not that into him and it will probably become painfully so later on in the film. It's crystal clear, in fact, and you're basically spending the next hour waiting for the final bombshell and the other shoe to drop. Until then, the ride along the way is humorous, even with the seemingly mismatched Gad and Hart taking the center stage. While most people will think this is mediocrity at its best, for us, we can now say there's a Kevin Hart movie in existence that we sort of enjoyed, but it's nothing we will ever need to see again, nor will it be a classic comedy occupying a coveted spot on our shelves anytime soon.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 33%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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