The Wedding Ringer

Directed By: Jeremy Garelick

Starring: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Olivia Thirlby, Jenifer Lewis, Whitney Cummings, Cloris Leachman, and Ken Howard

By the time I actually post this review, I'll most likely be holed up and recovering from abdominal surgery.  I'll be out of commission and away from my beloved big screen.  With this in mind, I'll probably be in need of a good laugh.  In anticipation of this, I've tried to knock out a flick or two prior to going down for the count.  As it stands, one of the films I reviewed in advance is one that may just provide that laugh.  Interestingly enough, the film features a comedian whom I've bashed on a number of occasions in the last couple of years, Kevin Hart.  That's right.  It's the matrimony-themed comedy The Wedding Ringer.

Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is getting married to his beautiful fiancée Paige (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) in one short week.  There's just one problem.  He has no best man.  After calling all the guys he's encountered from high school onward, Doug must face the reality that he has no male friends.  For the time being, he lies about having a best man named Bic Mitchum and several groomsmen named after famous athletes.  When Paige and her mother (Mimi Rogers) make mention of these fictional groomsmen, Doug is overwhelmed by the stress of it all, panics intensely, and faints dramatically.  All in all, Doug is in a bad situation.

The one man who can help Doug with his wedding party woes is Jimmy Callahan (Hart), a man known as the wedding ringer.  With the help of his assistant Doris (Jenifer Lewis), he runs a business known as The Best Man Inc. (TBM).  His company is all about helping loner guys party like rock stars on their wedding night.  To help Doug find his seven fictitious groomsmen, Jimmy is going to have to become North Dakota native Bic Mitchum and pull off what is only regarded in his line of work as the Golden Tux.  As Jimmy works to make this a reality, Paige's family complicates things — her bothersome father Ed (Ken Howard), her flammable grandmother (Cloris Leachman), and especially her inquisitive yet attractive sister Alison (Olivia Thirlby).

After some so-so outings in Ride Along and Think Like a Man Too, Kevin Hart finally finds his funny bone all over again with The Wedding Ringer.  It may be that this wedding comedy isn't the Kevin Hart Show, and other comedians actually have a moment or two to shine on camera.  It could also be that the film has a rather creative premise.  Either way, it’s a solidly entertaining romp.  In particular, his co-star Josh Gad steps up to the plate and is a real comedic delight.  I must say that Gad's rather zany, low key brand of humor blends well with that of Hart's crazy, over-the-top comedy.  Delivering quite a few laughs on screen together, they balance each other out quite well.  Their great comedic chemistry propels The Wedding Ringer forward.

Beyond Hart and Gad, the film boasts a strong supporting cast.  For his part as Gad's future father-in-law Ed, Ken Howard delivers one amusing performance as the cantankerous middle-age man.  For her part as Paige's sister Alison, Olivia Thirlby brings a warmth and authenticity to the screen.  Offering plenty of sarcastic humor as well, she's the sane one of the bunch.  Lastly, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting delivers one egotistical hot chick as Doug's fiancée Paige.  The Big Bang Theory star is full of herself in the most amusing way.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Wedding Ringer.  The ensemble cast headlined by Kevin Hart and Josh Gad delivers the goods.  Still, there are a few moments in which director Jeremy Garelick mistakes the disgusting for the comedic.  As it stands, The Wedding Ringer gets a strong 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.