Movie Review: The Wedding Ringer

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Nutshell: I’d give The Wedding Ringer a B+.  Funny as hell, and surprising in the chances it takes with the usual cut-n-paste storyline and cliches. A little rushed at times, but a fun film to hit if you want stomp-the-floor laughs.  And who doesn’t?

The Hangover.  Bridesmaids.  Wedding Crashers.  There are tons of films out there where someone’s getting married/gonna get married/hitting up a wedding.  Why should you see The Wedding Ringer?  Because it’s damn funny.  Really damn funny.  I-probaby-drove-the-critic-next-to-me-crazy-with-my-hooting funny.  And I was surprised at that.  Don’t get me wrong, Josh “Olaf” Gad and Kevin “Seriously See His Stand-up” Hart are funny guys.  And everyone knows Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting can nail comic timing with her work on The Big Bang Theory, so making the leap to film should be a snap.  But let’s face it, a lot of films promise all the funny, but deliver butkus.  Or worse yet, polite/pity claps, where you feel like you should be laughing so you try to dredge up something.  Sigh.  Jack and Jill, lookin’ at you.

But The Wedding Ringer is a comedy that’s actually funny.  Not just a giggle or chuckle funny, but big-time funny.  Worth your hard earned funny.  Why?  Maybe because it takes chances with it’s material, figuring that by going there, it could tick people off, or pay off.  Then again the film’s premise is kinda risky too; a story about how a guy has absolutely zero social life, so has to rent a BFF to be his best man…and a bunch of other guys to be groomsmen.  A pretty sharp observation for today’s too busy to connect world.  (In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if businesses like the one Hart’s Jimmy Callahan operates actually exist. )

But Gad’s Doug Harris is a guy with no friends.  Growing up with parents that were always on the move, he takes over the family company and never looks back.  He also never looks beyond his business.  So when he finally meets the woman he wants to marry, he finds himself without a single person he can tap to stand up with him on the big day.  Meanwhile, Sweeting’s Gretchen Palmer has her side of the wedding party all laid out.  Cue the Best Man for hire!

The Wedding Ringer is like Hitch for guys who already have gals.  And though the overall storyline (and much of the cliches) are so well known they’re almost comforting, Gad and Hart keep things goofy and fun.  There’s also cameo appearances that may have a whiff of stunt casting, but are enjoyable nonethless.  Mimi Rogers, Jeffrey Ross, and in a family & friends touch football session that gets way out of hand, Joe Namath, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, and John Riggins.  The only real disappointment was the lack of screen-time (and lines) for Chloris Leachman, playing Gretchen’s grandma. She’s nothing more than a sight gag here, and that’s a pity.  That’s Frau Blucher, dammit! *neighing sound*

In fact, there’s so much going on that at times the film feels a bit rushed.  But that’s probably the freshman hiccups of director Jeremy Garelick, and it doesn’t affect the overall feel of the film too much aside from the feeling that a few subplots could have been spun out longer.  (In fact, a few folks at the screening I attended had seen the film earlier, and mentioned scenes shown in prior screenings that had been edited out by the time my tush felt a multiplex cushion.) Perhaps there’ll be more in the DVD.

You haven’t lived ’til you’ve seen Hart and Gad dance though.  Together.  It’s a beautiful thing.  So are the bits of blue humor, jokes I’m sure some will write off as crass or unecessary.  But this is a film about a budding bromance; are we supposed to have them sit in a coffee shop and talk feelings all day?  No way baby.  Callahan and the band of misfits he pulls together for Harris’ wedding are a gang straight off the Island of Misfit Toys.  And nothing else but misfit adventures will do.  There’s also just enough backstory gravitas with the leads to make them worth rooting for without dragging the film down with an overabundance of The Feels.

The Wedding Ringer sucked me in, and I ain’t ashamed.  Is it silly and stupid?  Of course. (Guy comedy!) Does that matter?  Of course not.  It’s simply a film that wants to entertain the hell out of you.  Mission accomplished.  The Wedding Ringer is a film to watch with a bunch of your crazy misfit friends, preferably after a few drinks of choice.  Just don’t bring any peanut butter.  Trust me on this one.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
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1 Response to Movie Review: The Wedding Ringer

  1. Kay says:

    The Wedding Ringer is one of the most heart felt movies I seen in a long time. I give it a triple A rating


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