What is truly fascinating about The Wedding Ringer is that although it is Kevin Hart’s first R-rated comedy, it has just as much heart -- if not more -- than his other films.
For example, Ride Along was a true buddy cop comedy farce, and the aspect of Hart trying to impress his girlfriend’s brother so he can marry her… pure heart from Hart!
The Wedding Ringer is hilarious, touching and the comedy bar for 2015 has been set pretty high by the film from director Jeremy Garelick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jay Lavender.
Hart’s Jimmy runs a business called Best Man, Inc. They provide a service for gents who are getting married and have, for whatever reason, no friends to be a best man or groomsmen for that matter. Enter Josh Gad, as teased in The Wedding Ringer trailer. He runs a successful business and he’s marrying Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). She has seven bridesmaids and she needs his list of groomsmen and even a name for the best man as the wedding is merely weeks away. Desperation breeds creativity and this is where The Wedding Ringer gets truly creative.
Garelick and Lavender have crafted a landscape that is rife with characters that may appear two-dimensional, but upon the passage of screen time, the audience realizes that we know these guys. And although this friendship is “bought,” there might be something to this band of misfits that some would argue could be called camaraderie.
Hart and Gad have comedic chemistry in droves. They are a new odd couple and we hope that The Wedding Ringer is the beginning of many movies that these two could appear in together. The comparisons could be made to the Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor movies of the '70s and '80s, but we think a more apt comparison is to the films of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. There is a physical comedy element, sure, but there is an element of character adoration between these two mismatched men that seriously works.
There was even great care given to the casting of the rent-a-groomsmen. Jorge Garcia (Lost) and Affion Crockett (This Means War) are just two of the team that deliver their parts when they were probably given little to work with.
Cuoco-Sweeting, ever the sitcom veteran with her work on The Big Bang Theory, effortlessly moves to the big screen and further expands her own comedic chops with a turn that is equally sincere and scandalous.
But, let’s be serious. Our The Wedding Ringer review has to report that this is the Josh Gad and Kevin Hart show, from beginning to end. Hart continues his hot streak that shows no signs of slowing and Gad also keeps his moving forward as well. Let’s just hope that this film is the beginning of a great cinematic friendship between the two.