The Wedding Ringer review

Panic groom.

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Panic groom.

For all its flaws, its gaps in logic, its dud script and the safe and easy route it takes to the end credits, this bromantic comedy isn’t bad enough to hate. In fact, it’s so lightweight it’s almost impossible to remember an hour after seeing it, never mind long enough to brew up verbal vitriol.

Kevin Hart is reasonably subdued in the title role as Jimmy Callahan, an entrepreneur who has found a depressing but lucrative niche to capitalise on: friendless schmucks who don’t have enough male companions to fill out a wedding party. Callahan acts as the endlessly enthusiastic best mate, conjuring up a group of “old” buds to round out the group from whatever riff-raff he can dig up.

Enter his next mark, Doug Harris (Josh Gad), a socially challenged chap who is somehow marrying the impossibly gorgeous Gretchen (The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco- Sweeting) and needs to come up with some groomsmen, fast.

He finds Jimmy, who hires a bunch of out-of-work actors with ‘funny’ quirks (one stutters, one is a sex offender, etc) to be his motley crew of pals, and after the requisite disastrous family dinners, the gang attempts to pull it all together and give Harris the best/worst wedding money can buy.

First-time director Jeremy Garelick pours enough ’80s comedy clichés into the proceedings that it begins to feel more like a comfortable old sweater than a movie. Of course, for the film to work, you have to vault right over the concept that a groom’s fiancée wouldn’t know who his best friend is – or anyone he’s close to, for that matter. But it’s really not worth worrying about in a film this throwaway.

VERDICT: The predictable script lulls you into laughing at some very tired gags, but at least Hart refrains from screaming through the whole thing.

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More info

Theatrical release20 February 2015
DirectorJeremy Garelick
Starring"Kevin Hart","Josh Gad","Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting","Affion Crockett","Jorge Garcia"
Available platformsMovie
Freelance writer

Ken McIntyre is a freelance writer who has spent years covering music and film. You'll find Ken in the pages of Total Film and here on GamesRadar, using his experience and expertise to dive into the history of cinema and review the latest films. You'll also find him writing features and columns for other Future Plc brands, such as Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine.