By Joseph Saulnier

When I first heard the title of this movie, I probably thought what 99% of the population thought… that sounds like The Wedding Singer.  Without even knowing anything about the film I had this preconceived notion that it was about a jeweler for weddings who is the best jeweler in town!  Sarcasm is so hard to convey, but picture the end of that last sentence dripping with it.

It seems like Kevin Hart is in everything these days.  He is the big name to know, and on everyone’s short list (rim shot).  But it’s for good reason.  They guy is funny.  So I had a little hope The Wedding Ringer.  Especially when you partner him with Josh Gad, a person more commonly known for being the supporting actor.  Who is still a supporting actor in this film, but you wouldn’t know it.

For those that don’t know, TWR is about Doug Harris (Gad), a bridegroom who finds himself in a little bit of a pickle.  It’s 10 days before his wedding, and he still has yet to figure out how to tell Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), his bride-to-be, that his Best Man, and entire wedding party, are entirely fictitious.  Never fear, for Harris is lead to Jimmy Callahan (Hart), proprietor of The Best Man, Inc.  Only Jimmy doesn’t know exactly what he’s getting into as he makes an attempt at the fabled “Golden Tuxedo”, a myth in the business of being able to provide a 7-man grooms party in 10 days.  Hilarity and hijinks ensue.

This movie was far better than I imagined it would be.  With edgy humor, and great cameo appearances, the film delivers.  Not afraid to make inside jokes about the actors’ previous roles, and not focusing on racial humor that some may anticipate, the film did not disappoint.  The chemistry between Hart and Gad was good.  It wasn’t great, but you can tell there was some.  Hearing Cuoco-Sweeting curse after watching her for years on network television was a bit of a shock at first, but it certainly seemed natural.  It was just so hard to accept the fact that she played her character so well, being the opposite end of the spectrum from some of the things she is most known for.

As I mentioned earlier, there were some great cameos throughout the film.  Without giving away the big surprises, be on the lookout for Josh Peck, Cloris Leachman, Mimi Rogers, Whitney Cummings and Jeffrey Ross (just to name a few).  Surprisingly enough, the edgiest jokes did not even come from the main cast, but more the supporting actors.  They did an excellent job of spreading the humor.  And while soundtrack is not a huge focus for comedies, I thought it a nice touch that many of the selections were more than fitting for the scenes.

Was the movie formulaic?  You betcha?  I called the ending of the movie a mere 20 minutes in.  Are all of the jokes original?  No.  There were some great ones that I have never heard before, and the ones that you’ve seen a lot were delivered in fresh, creative way.  Is it a movie that’s going to win awards?  Likely not, but it’s definitely worth checking out for date night.

Bottom line, the movie surpassed my expectations by a mile.  It was nice to see a movie that doesn’t rely on the obvious jokes and humor you would expect given the cast and setting.  This is definitely one that will be making its way into my collection when released for home viewing, and I may head out and take a gander at it again this weekend.

4 stars out of 5

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