Starring Kevin Hart, Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco
Three-and-a-half out of five stars
The most bizarre, yet kind of funny, thing about "The Wedding Ringer" is it seems a bit of a rip-off of the 2005 comedy "Wedding Crashers." The reason that’s bizarre and kind of funny is "The Wedding Ringer" was written before "Wedding Crashers" was ever pitched. True story.
In "The Wedding Ringer," Kevin Hart is Jimmy Callahan, who performs “best man services,” meaning he’ll be your best man at your wedding, for a price. If you happen to die a few years after the wedding, he’ll even attend your funeral and give a speech about you. Enter Josh Gad as Doug, an overweight, socially awkward lawyer who’s less than two weeks away from marrying Gretchen, played by Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, who is, according to every person with functioning eyes, out of his league.
Doug also has no friends, but Gretchen doesn’t know that. Doug tells her his best friend is the fictional Bic Mitchum, a priest in the military who’s currently in El Salvador. Only the flamboyant wedding planner realizes Doug is friendless, and quietly suggests he meet Jimmy.
Doug doesn’t just ask Jimmy to perform best man services as Bic, he also asks him to provide seven groomsmen. That’s the “Golden Tux” package, Jimmy says, and it’s never been done before -- and since he has less than two weeks to pull it off, it’s going to cost Doug 50 grand. Doug is fine with that.
"The Wedding Ringer" is a funny movie. Brilliant? No. But funny, certainly, though if you’re easily offended, it’s definitely not for you. We’ve known about Kevin Hart for a while but the world is only now waking up to Gad, who really got Hollywood’s attention when he took Broadway by storm in "The Book of Mormon," and more recently as the voice of Olaf in "Frozen."
While I agree studios historically save January to release their not-so-entertaining movies, Hart and Gad make you laugh simply by showing up.
Add a moderately funny script, and "The Wedding Ringer" is a winner.