The Wedding Ringer (2015)
Directed by Jeremy Garelick
The thing I hate most about “The Wedding Ringer” is that I found it so hard to hate. Somebody has to draw the short straw and star in those crappy January comedies, and it might as well be the fast-talking Kevin Hart. In fact, he may have found his money-making niche.
When Doug (Josh Gad) realizes he’ll need seven groomsmen to fill his wedding party, he tried calling the only guys he knew. When that didn’t work, he called Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), who guys come to when they need to hire a best man. Except, Doug needs more than a best man. He needs all the men. So from the island of misfit toys Jimmy finds seven guys (including Jorge Garcia, Affion Crockett, and Dan Gill) to fill this hilariously tall order. But forging lifelong friendships in two weeks in order to convince his fiancee (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) and family is no easy task. In fact, you might guess how it ends. But predictability can’t kill the fun.
Step one, look past the total implausibility of the situation. Of course it’s outrageous, but what would you expect? “The Wedding Ringer” uses broad-sweeping, often sexist humor that’s meant to get the most laughs from the largest amount of people. These aren’t intelligent jokes catered to only those who can understand them (though there are a few hilarious pop culture references that drew huge laughs). For the most part, these are cheap jokes meant to draw an almost-involuntary chuckle. Kevin Hart making a joke about white people, for example. Easy laughs. But laughs all the same. More laughs than a lot of comedies I’ve seen recently. Plus, it’s relatable. I am Doug. The laughs leave an aftertaste of truth. Ouch.
Fake it till you make it. It applies to the plot, but also to the movie. As I write this, it is mid-January. This comedy was never going to be “good” in the subjective sense. But any comedy that gets laughs is a winner on at least one level. If you want a good laugh, you don’t have much room to be choosy at this time of the year. Kevin Hart is the best man for the job.
“The Wedding Ringer” is in theaters.