Here’s the thing. Kevin Hart can be hilarious. He was the best part of the mediocre Ride Along and the Think Like a Man movies are pretty funny. Josh Gad is relatively untested, only really gaining fame from his voicing of Olaf the Snowman in Frozen. So would this raunchy R-rated comedy be funny, or another January flop?
Josh Gad stars as Doug Harris, a rich businessman who inherited his father’s business and is now settling down to marry the beautiful Gretchen (Big Bang Theory‘s Kaley Cucao-Sweeting). The problem is… he doesn’t have any guy friends so he runs into a conundrum when he has to find seven groomsmen. Luckily for Doug, he finds Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) who gets paid to pretend to be a Best Man (and do all the things that a Best Man would). Will they be able to pull off this trick?
As usual, Kevin Hart is the funniest part of this movie. The best parts of this movie though happen in the second half, when the predictable turn in the plot happens and we get a little emotional. Hart delivers a surprisingly nuanced performance and Gad does the job decently. I enjoyed the emotionally sappy ending, though you saw it coming as soon as the movie opened.
It’s also nice to see Jorge Garcia (Lost) back on the screen again.
What doesn’t work?
January is the worst. As a comedy, this movie didn’t appeal to me at all. It tried to have this raunchy Wedding Crashers tone but I sat just staring at the screen for the first half, laughless. The worst part was the ragtag group of groomsmen that enter the picture. These characters were painful and actually managed to make me sad. Sad? Yes. There’s this one poor guy that just has a stutter. That’s what makes him a weirdo. One character has a third testicle that he has to show off. How is a stutter even in that same realm? And everyone treats this poor guy like a monster. Maybe that’s the joke? It just made me sad how they were treating this guy.
And the movie tried so hard to be raunchy but it really failed to be funny most of the time. The biggest disappointment is a moment involving a bachelor party and a jar of peanut butter. One of the worst, most groan-worthy, horrifyingly stupid moments in a comedy that I’ve ever seen.
Some of you will find moments funny here but I found most of it to be bland, cliche, and trying way too hard. The first half was really bad but the second half actually showed off some new skills from Kevin Hart, even though the movie is absolutely predictable. Very little to enjoy here, but it’ll do if you’re looking for a comedy.