The Wedding Ringer – Review

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Starring: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Affion Crockett, Jorge Garcia, Cloris Leachman
Written by: Jeremy Garelick & Jay Lavender
Directed by: Jeremy Garelick
Metacritic Score: 35
IMDb Score: 6.7

Rated R for crude and sexual content, language throughout, some drug use and brief graphic nudity.

So, yeah, Kevin Hart is apparently the next big thing in comedy. Already having two films this year, as his films make more money, he’ll more than likely end up making more movies. And while About Last Night was charming in its way, his other movies haven’t really shown anything but him being a very small version of Chris Tucker.

Does The Wedding Ringer show that he has more to give?

Doug Harris (Gad) is a loner who found the woman of his dreams, Gretchen (Cuoco-Sweeting), but has one problem: He has no best man or groomsmen for the wedding day. In comes Jimmy Callahan (Hart) who is a professional best man. Doug hires Jimmy to fake a complete set of friends that he has in order to get through the wedding day.

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The best way to describe The Wedding Ringer is that it’s a combination of Hitch, The Wedding Planner and small bits of the first The Hangover. In terms of taking the good bits of those movies and implanting them into this movie, it’s a mixed bag. 

The movie is clearly trying to please as many people as possible, but the movie is meant for men ages 15 – 35 (or with the maturity of that range) and it hits that target age well. There are some humorous parts of the film and plenty of slapstick moments that work, but you have to get through the first 45 minutes which doesn’t have much in the way of good laughs and jokes.

In fact, the comedy really isn’t the best part of this film: it’s the more dramatic interactions with Gad and Hart that gives the movie an unexpected heart that’s not expected. OK, dramatic might be pushing it a little: moving isn’t what this movie does, but it does show an interesting friendship that surprisingly works.

It’s the believability of these two characters getting together that makes the movie watchable. As the aforementioned movies it’s compared to, The Wedding Ringer simply doesn’t do anything that those movies already do better.

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The movie doesn’t really have a charming lead to actually boost the meddling pieces, like Hitch and The Wedding Planner. Because of this, parts that a more charming and eloquent actor would still make likable seem more painful and boring. Not sure if this is the fault of Hart or Gad, but when there is a bad scene: it’s a bad scene.

Also, the female lead, Cuoco-Sweeting, has zero chemistry and likability in this movie. She just sits there and plays the atypical bridezilla whose meant to be a pretty face to be adorned, but just ends up being a flat, fairly unlikable character, mainly due to the actress’ lack of ability to even be likable.

Aside from Hart and Gad, the rest of the cast is completely throwaway and useless, unless it’s for a quick one-note joke. Mind you, the guys who play the groomsmen are good for one note jokes, but that’s all they provide: window dressing for Hart and Gad.

When separating Gad and Hart, however, the movie seems to want to highlight more of Hart, but ends up being more positive on Gad’s role in the movie. It’s clear that Hart is supposed to play the wise, smooth operator that is the clear funny man part in the film, but Gad actually pulls off being more likable and funny in his parts of the film.

It seems like Hart is already going into the Chris Rock territory that he was in until he hit big with Top Fiveit’s clear this guy is popular and that a lot of people find him funny, but the movie doesn’t do a great job of showing why. This role could have be written for Chris Tucker, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, or any other mainstay comedic actor: Hart literally brings nothing new.

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The Wedding Ringer isn’t a laugh out loud comedy nor is it a bad one. What it does have is a good pairing in Gad and Hart that makes the movie watchable as the movie goes through. Mind you, there’s nothing too memorable or too funny out that really can make it a recommendation over the other comedies mentioned, but it’s a good waste of 2 hours.

2.5/5 – Hart and Gad have great chemistry, the rest of the film is throwaway.

The Wiz Says #28

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