“Do I wear a cape? Hello, ladies, what’s going on? My name is Bic.”
It is never a good omen when a film opens with The Black Eyed Peas. As I Gotta Feelin’ played over the opening scene of The Wedding Ringer, I was dreading what would follow. I had high hopes for the Kevin Hart/Josh Gad comedy, but they were sorely underachieved.
If you are so inclined to see The Wedding Ringer, remember to turn your brain off first. Amongst the horrendously lazy stereotypes and flat humour, there lies a skeleton of a story. When the film is not painting Josh Gad as an uncool, uncoordinated buffoon, the film delicately depicts the importance of friendship. This relationship of friendship is seen from both sides and occasionally the film hits some emotional tones. It is a shame that this emotion is hidden beneath a wealth of shoddy production, poor acting and unfunny jokes.
The promotional tour for The Wedding Ringer worked wonders, leading me to believe that Gad and Hart would have real chemistry and that there would be plenty of laughs. I was misled to on both accounts. Gad and Hart have little spark and are a passable pairing at best. However, the film’s most grievous crime is that it isn’t funny. I laughed only a handful of times and these were at silly things rather than hilarious jokes. I laughed at neither the recurring speech impediment joke nor the odd couple’s lame Titanic recital. Kevin Hart didn’t even make me laugh very often; probably down to the sub-par material he was given.
Hart may be charismatic, but it seems that he is a number #2 rather than a lead man. Hart helms The Wedding Ringer admirably, but ultimately needs more support. In this way, I feel bad for Josh Gad. He is by no means terrible, but is given such a grossly undesirable character that for large swathes you don’t empathise with how he is dealing with his situation. His desire for genuine friendship is endearing, but little else is.
Neither Hart nor Gad’s performance is remarkably poor, but the performance of Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting is poor enough that I would like to remark upon it. Due to the lack of emotion or any depth in her superficial performance, Cuoco-Sweeting’s performance barely reaches Mila-Kunis-in-Jupiter–Ascending levels. In her defence, her lack of bra in an early scene highlights just why she was hired, and the sort of role she was given.
The Wedding Ringer is not an awful film; it just isn’t very good. The Wedding Ringer is like The Internship without any of the novelty or charisma of Vaughn/Wilson. It has passable moments, such as on the dancefloor and a cute nod to Lost, but when a film makes Ride Along look like Dodgeball, you know it isn’t good. Skip this one and rewatch Wedding Crashers.