Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Wedding Ringer
Releases January 16th 2015
1 hr 41 mins
Rated R


Director: Jeremy Garelick

Kevin Hart as Jimmy Callahan
Josh Gad as Doug Harris
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting as Gretchen
Alan Ritchson as Kip Cloris Leachman
Mimi Rogers
Ken Howard as Ed Palmer Affion Crockett as Reggie/DrysDale
Lindsay Pearce as Alexandra Plylow
Jenifer Lewis as Doris Jenkins
Olivia Thirlby as Alison Palmer
Jorge Garcia as Lurch/Garvey
Ignacio Serricchio as Edmuno
Nicky Whelan as Nadia
Anthony L. Fernandez as Angel
Josh Peck as Bad Best Man

Review by Stephen M.

The Wedding Ringer continues Kevin Hart's string of buddy movies, but catapulting him to the forefront alongside Josh Gad.  Josh plays groom-to-be Doug who is lacking of friends to fill out his groomsmen opposite his fiancee's (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) bridesmaids party of  seven.  He enlists Jimmy (Kevin) who is a professional best man, a person that fills in the role of best man at a wedding when you don't have one.  He initially balks at the challenge given the size of the party and short time frame but reluctantly agrees to take on the "Golden Tux."

Despite having the same feel of romantic comedies like Hitch and Wedding Crashers, Kevin Hart and Josh Gad's take on this genre is splendid and enjoyable and will have you laughing out loud.  This is due to their great on screen chemistry, Kevin Hart's continuing growth as an actor, and the well written plot and direction by Director Jeremy Garelick.  The movie really revs up as the duo gels in an extended dance scene between Kevin and Josh.  The supporting cast of motley groomsmen are hilarious with each having their own party distraction trick.  But what really does it for me is how the Director slowly transforms Kevin's character Jimmy as he and Josh's character Doug bonds.

Aside from a bit of a slowdown in the latter part of the movie there is little to find fault in this romantic comedy.  It would have been nice to see an Asian male portrayed positively for once.  But The Wedding Ringer continues the route of bizarre self degradation Asian males like Mr. Chow in the Hangover franchise.  The Wedding Ringer is at least an equal opportunity offender with its diverse talented cast.  Gretchen, Doug's fiancee played by Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting may have been better cast, as Kaley's performance while good is uninspiring.

Overall I would recommend this film especially as a date movie.  With male leads and bawdy jokes, the romantic comedy is geared more toward guys.  That's not to say the ladies would not enjoy it.  However, please leave the kids at home.  With drugs and implied sexual behaviors, why parents would bring their very young children to a screening like this is beyond me.  The cameo appearance of Broadway Joe Namath in what else but a touch football game is cool.  Seeing Kevin Hart step it up a notch, makes this worth watching.


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