The Wedding Ringer

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Chances are, if your script has been lying around for over a decade without being produced in spite of successes with other films, it’s probably not a great thing to make it without taking into account other films made during that time. But that appears to be what the creative team behind The Wedding Ringer did when they finally made this film.

While admittedly funny at points, the film also comes across as derivative of similar films that have come out since the script was written in 2002. There’s the hiring of Jimmy by Doug in service of developing a relationship with a woman (Hitch). The faux-bromance between the two characters develops into something real (so many Judd Apatow-styled films), There’s even a scene where the two crash a wedding (Wedding Crashers, obviously).

Fortunately, the film does offer some elements that make the film enjoyable at times. The chemistry between Hart and Gad is strong, a necessity with films like this. The film also offers some comedic sequences that feel like padding, but are bonkers enough to work – one, a bachelor party that devolves into a police chase, and the other, a football game that turns into a brawl.

Still, the film’s basic plot is utterly predictable. You can guess the ending of the film within the first five minutes. It’s not a horrible choice to break up the deluge of prestige films expanding for Oscar season or the slew of action films dumped in the month. It is, however, the sort of film audiences are likely to forget in a month’s time, only to watch it for years to come on a cable channel some Saturday.

The Wedding Ringer • Rating: R (for crude and sexual content, language throughout, some drug use andf brief graphic nudity) • Runtime: 101 minutes • Genre: Comedy • Cast: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting • Director: Jeremy Garelick • Writers: Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender • Distributor: Screen Gems
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