Film Review “The Wedding Ringer”

weddingringerStarring: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad and Ken Howard
Directed by: James Garelick
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 41 mins
SONY Pictures

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Imagine you’ve managed to ask a beautiful woman to marry you and now you need to fill out your side of the wedding party. You call around but none of your friends, or people you thought were friends, want to commit. Who you gonna call?

A surprisingly touching and funny film, “The Wedding Ringer” is the story of Doug (Gad), who is set to marry the lovely Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). When he can’t find anyone to stand up with him the wedding planner (Ignacio Serricchio) points him in the direction of Jimmy Callahan (Hart) who, for a fee, will provide anything you need, from a best man (the package is called the gold bow tie) to a “Gold Tux,” which includes Best Man, multiple groomsmen and a bachelor party. Doug needs a Gold Tux. Jimmy agrees to supply it and recruits several of his friends with various skills (Jimmy feels that every “ringer” should have a distracting trick, be it the ability to talk backwards or having washboard abs to show off when necessary). But he stresses to Doug not to get too attached. Once the wedding is over he and the others are gone.

I must say I went into this movie expecting to hate it. I have not been a big supporter of Kevin Hart and expected another 90 mins of his screaming Chris Tucker impression. However, in “The Wedding Ringer,” he is quite funny and handles the role very well. This is due, in part, to the equally fun performance turned in by Josh Gad. Gad gives Doug a quiet sweetness to his character, one that slowly dissolves as he gains more courage from his new buddies. The script, co-written by director Garelick and Jay Lavender (the duo also collaborated on the 2006 Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Anniston comedy “The Break-Up”) is very witty and the supporting cast, which includes a former football player – the pride of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania – and veteran actor (and “White Shadow” star) Ken Howard. After a month or so of prestigious films looking for some Oscar love this film is a welcome Cineplex treat.

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