Hollywood Product: The Wedding Ringer
Kevin Hart is the best man for this satisfying buddy comedy
THE PITCH: Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is getting married to Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), the girl of his dreams in ten days but soon realizes he has no one to be his best man. He is introduced to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) who runs a unique service that provides the services he needs – a best man, and a friend.
MONEY SHOT: Jimmy and Doug crash a wedding to give a sense of what to expect on the big day. At the wedding party, the two take the floor and engage in a series of dances together that range from the Dougie to the Tango.
BEST LINE: Gretchen and her mother (Mimi Rogers) are giddy planning the wedding details. Mr. Palmer (Ken Howard) isn’t as impressed. While Doug attempts to take all this in, Mr. Palmer says, “Does anyone else feel fucking gay right now?”
SHE SAID WHAT? Emotional reunification. Doug wants a reprieve from Gretchen’s pact to delay intimacy until their honeymoon. She reminds him of the importance of their chastity touting the “Emotional reunification” will make their wedding night more fulfilling. While reunification is typically used to describe more serious parent/child relationships, there isn’t any noted psychological reference to the term for couples.
THE WEDDING CRASHERS: Or should I say bruisers. In a bit of father/son-in-law bonding, Doug and his motley crew of groomsmen have a scrimmage game of “touch” football with Mr Palmer’s college football friends. His crew is a mix of NFL Hall of Famers including “Broadway” Joe Namath, “The Diesel” himself, John Riggins, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones.
BOTTOM LINE: If anyone still questions if Kevin Hart can move from sidekick to leading man, Ringer will put this conversation to rest. Hart is endearing and versatile in this funny, feel good film. Not to discount the expected bromance foolery between he and co-star Gad, Hart reaches beyond his signature rants and delivers some notable glimpses of genius. During a scene where he learns about his nom de guerre Bic Mitchem, Hart quickly processes this character like a method actor, losing his Jimmy persona and line-by-line transforming into Bic right before our eyes. Similarly Hart shows unexpected range in quiet scenes between he and Gad and a memorable moment with Jennifer Lewis who plays his no nonsense business manager, Doris.
The Wedding Ringer is a buddy comedy cleverly dressed within a romcom. With laugh out loud antics and amazing chemistry between Gad and Hart, this film is unapologetically funny and worth seeing.