We follow Jeremy Garelick down the aisle as he attempts to marry off rom-com and covert calamity in The Wedding Ringer. To say I went in expecting nothing more than the occasional giggle, the film was surprisingly funny. Sequences were bold, hysterical and a touch on the preposterous side, casually prodding at all the infamous “big day” stereotypes, from wedding planners to wife’s parents.
Played by actor, Josh Gad, the scene is set with Doug Harris coming to the realisation that he doesn’t have a friend to back him as his best man. With a wedding that’s ten days away, desperate times call for desperate measures. Enter Jimmy Callaghan, a character brought to life by Kevin Hart, who steps in as a consulting best man to save the day… literally. It’s business as usual for the duo as they forge a fake friendship with seven groomsmen pulled from thin air. However, as they go from stag dos to staged photographs to keep up the charade, their little business arrangement takes a few unexpected turns. Some are painfully obvious; others, not as much.
It’s more about the journey rather than the destination with The Wedding Ringer. The cast make this film the comical treasure that it is, pushing the expectations of weddings right to the far reaches of realism. From a dirty-mouthed, stepdad with a blood lust, to an ex-con faking injury as a paraplegic, none of the characters are by any means conventional. Each had their own brand of kookiness and as the wedding played out, the film cleverly made room for each quirk so it could be used to its most chaotic extent.
Despite the occasional cliché, the writing was a hallmark of this comedic piece. It felt fresh, ambitious and treaded on new grounds as the high concept was one I’d never seen before, sitting comfortably between films like Hitch and The Ugly Truth. If I had to nitpick one thing though, it’d be the movies cheeky habit to sneak in a few references to a few classic films. Despite the occasional giggle, they weren’t needed. However if this is something you enjoy then it won’t be a problem.
Right up until the ending, the film essentially feels like one massive bachelor party and I think that’s where the ultimate appeal lies. You walk out afterwards, remembering a pair of handcuffs, a dog and some peanut butter. Otherwise it all feels a bit like a blur, but one you were glad for nonetheless. Granted the plot is predictable, but to be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Though The Wedding Ringer might not be love at first sight for everyone, it’s a film that will win you over one way or the another. If not for the predictable pieces of romance that’ll leave you all warm and fuzzy inside, watch it for the outlandish brand of comedy.