The Wedding Ringer

“There is no reason I should have been so looking forward to this movie. January comedies are usually the worst (and some early reviews reaffirmed that fear), and I’ve yet to be sold on Kevin Hart. Who I am sold on, however, is Josh Gad, and the wonderful charisma he brings to the screen every time. The premise (friendless dude hires suave dude to be the best man at his wedding) could have gone either way. I honestly did not expect to enjoy this nearly as much as I did.

Admittedly, the humor wasn’t quite there for me, but it often isn’t. I had a couple chuckle out loud moments (and maybe would have had a few more if I weren’t spoilt by the trailer), but otherwise, mostly just smiles instead of full out laughs. That’s just me though. The chick behind me couldn’t stop roaring with laughter thru the whole thing. What the movie did have, and the reason I was so absorbed in it, was that it had so much heart.

In a way, this film is the ultimate bromance. The same way that chick flicks give you a meet cute, turning towards will they won’t they, and all the ups and downs to make the relationship happen, that’s the scenario we had with these guys. Not unlike the idea behind the beloved I Love You Man, but coming from the opposite angle (hiring best man and maybe gaining friend vs gaining friend and hopefully acquiring best man), and beyond the basic story they were very much different. The role the women in these friendless men’s lives played was different as well.

I think a big part of why I connected with this movie was that I sympathize so much with Josh Gad’s Doug. I may not be friendless like he is, but I do have some trouble in that area. Those things don’t come easy to me, and I’ve faced a lot of the same rejections. Combine that with the aforementioned charisma of Gad, and I just loved him. I was rooting for him the same way one roots for Rudy or The Goonies. He’s simply a good guy who deserves a better break.

I’ll admit that I haven’t seen much of Kevin Hart, at least not in leading roles. None of his other stuff has really appealed to me, but he was fantastic here. Just toeing the line between just right and too much. Actually, that was another big win for this movie. The guys were real, or at least as real as you can get in comedy. Where a lot of current comedies lose me is when they get too absurd (I’m looking at you Anchorman 2). Some parts of Ringer did of course stretch the suspension of disbelief, but those moments were never the point, and the Gad/Hart relationship grounded everything.

Some (okay, many) critics may have panned it, but all I know is I left the theater with the biggest smile and the warmest of fuzzy feelings.

The Wedding Ringer – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

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