The Wedding Ringer

Year: 2015
Director: Jeremy Garelick
Starring: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco
Written by Rhys Wortham
Edited by Jakob Lewis Barnes

If for some reason you were planning on watching ‘The Wedding Ringer’, I’m about to save you approximately 100 minutes of your life, minus the time it takes to read this review. The movie centers around protagonist Doug Harris (Josh Gad), who proposes to his dream girl, Gretchen Palmer (Kaley Cuoco) and they begin to plan their wedding. Socially awkward Doug however, struggles to choose a best man, as the wedding date gets closer and closer. Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner of Best Man Inc. Jimmy’s company specialises in providing a best man for those in need, with a wide range of options to choose from, luckily for Doug, who requires an additional seven groomsmen. The façade of a wedding then becomes the setting to an unexpected bromance which develops between Doug and his new phony friend. 

This film was really disappointing. I thought it would be funnier, especially with Kevin Hart involved, but sadly  I was wrong. Credit where credit’s due, it was a different and original story and  the bromance was mildly entertaining, but the film struggled as an out-and-out comedy. Not only does ‘The Wedding Ringer’ rely on aggressive humor and slapstick elements but the main issue is that the jokes here are nothing more than recycled jokes, painfully predictable. The only saving grace was the one liners, which were mostly cringe worthy and had me rolling my eyes but, I’ll admit I did laugh a few times and smirked, but for the most part ‘The Wedding Ringer’ was just a tired cliché. 

Seriously we’ve seen all these jokes before. Let me see if I can spell a few of them out for you; the fat guy is made fun of for being fat, like in the scene where he leans on a glass table and it breaks, how original. The black guy with the afro is super ghetto and uses ghetto language all the time, who would have guessed? The guy with the mullet is a red-neck who makes inappropriate comments eluding to rape. The big macho-men pick on the smaller guy. Do you get the point? Does it feel like I’m explaining all the jokes for you so it isn’t fun? Am I forcing these old jokes down your throat? That’s exactly how the movie made me feel. Time and time again, movie after movie, they’ve all made these jokes already, without the violence and blatant stereotyping present in ‘The Wedding Ringer’.

Other than the lame jokes and some horrible pranks played on Doug, the story was relatively well written. The bromance came across as being more legitimate than the actual relationship which forms the romantic subplot. Also there’s the whole plausibility factor. There’s probably lots of people out there who just don’t have time to maintain friendships and when something comes up that requires you to actually have friends, even just one friend, like a wedding, they find themselves in a rather awkward situation. Despite these minor positives, since the film sets out to be a comedy, and failed to actually make me laugh, I’m afraid I can’t give it a passing grade. A real failure of a movie in my opinion.

The thing that frustrates me about this film is that everything was pretty good, except the jokes, the key feature of a comedy movie. All the jokes made were notably average, with very few exceptions. They’ve been in other films multiple times to the point of being nauseating. The plot falls apart in some areas due to main focal points relying on the jokes, because when the punch line falls flat, so does the impact of that moment in the story. I really recommend you avoid watching this film if you are interested in comedy, at all, because you will be disappointed.

Rhys’ rating: 4.5 out of 10