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The Wedding Ringer

Tuesday, 10 March, 2015

Jeremy Garelick’s The Wedding Ringer tells the story of a young man named Doug (Josh Gad) that finds himself in need of an entire wedding party for his marriage to dream-girl Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). As a desperate last resort, Doug finds a service to help him in his hour of need; Best Man Inc., led by Jimmy (Kevin Hart). With the help of his riff-raff assortment of helpers, Jimmy and Doug attempt a “Golden Tux”, where every single groomsman fabricates a longstanding friendship with Doug, in order for the wedding to go smoothly. Hilarity ensues, or so the marketers of this film would have you believe.

I personally have never disliked a movie so much in my entire life. Everything about it was lazy and cliché, from the characters, to the plot, to the ‘gags’. At times downright offensive (an attempt was made at a male rape joke), and often just tediously boring due to dull characters, The Wedding Ringer is a prime contender for a much deserved Razzie Award.

Directed and produced by Jeremy Garelick, screenwriter and producer for The Break-Up, written with Will Packer (About Last Night producer) and Jay Lavender (also screenwriter and producer for The Break-Up­) it is no wonder that this film doesn’t amount to much. Rotten Tomatoes attributes each writer for The Wedding Ringer with a string of films that rarely score higher than a critics’ review of 60%. The audience’s reviews are much more forgiving, giving this film a score of 75%, in comparison with the critics’ score of 33%.

I tried so hard to look for things to praise in The Wedding Ringer. “Surely there must have been something of worth?” I asked myself multiple times throughout the 101 minutes of film. I tried, and I have failed. This movie is bad across the board, but the biggest problem I have is with its screenplay. The story itself had potential to be an interesting look at loneliness and social anxiety. But they seemed much more interested in stuffing the plot with clichéd characters: the unattractive, but relatable main character; the cool, sassy, black sidekick; the bitch girlfriend; and the cool girlfriend (both attractive of course). Each of Doug’s various ‘friends’ also have a peculiarity, whether it be due to race (the Asian guy), disability (the guy with a stutter), or temperament (the aggressive guy).  There was a template that they pulled out of the comedy vault, and they followed it to a T, much to the film’s detriment.

The scenes are cut without taste or proper judgment, interrupting the flow of the entire narrative. Conversations between characters are virtually incomprehensible due the combination of fast cutting between characters and the fast dialogue, which made it very hard to appreciate the humour (if there was any). The music is heinous; the opening track of  ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ by the Black Eyed Peas really set the scene for terribly clichéd, out-dated music.

And the ‘gags’? They try to pull the same kind of outrageous jokes as big-hit comedies such as There’s Something About Mary (setting Grandma on fire vs. setting dog on fire), The Hangover (the day-after scenes where characters are unconscious in a room of ‘humorous’ chaos), and Meet the Parents (the familial football game between the protagonists and the in-laws). The only difference between these films and The Wedding Ringer is that the other ones were funny – there’s nothing quite as stale as the re-hashing of someone else’s joke.

To anybody who is considering seeing this film, your money is best spent elsewhere. At least then, you would have saved yourself the humiliation of having to walk out of such a film.

0/however many points you would like to suggest.