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Funny isn't it how one film can illicit such varied responses from different people? But of course those who dislike it most yell the loudest - yes I'm looking at you nicakpopolis and co - I'm sorry that you're so smart and the rest of the audience who were laughing are such idiots. Truly. Just because you didn't like a movie, it doesn't make the rest of us fools. Ego out of control. And if you didn't even watch the whole thing (chrisliz) then you probably shouldn't review it. And if you didn't like the trailer why would you see it anyway!? Aren't people funny? Anyway I reckon this movie is OK. It doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. If you're after a bit of laugh out loud escapism this is for you (and if it isn't...stay at home or see something else and save us all from having to read your bile ridden comments). Cheers mark
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Previewed at the Rome film festival. Even given the fact that festival films are usually pretty poor - and you are grateful for anything average - A Few Best Men is hilarious. Olivia Newton John (and, no, she's not 'nearly 70' reviewer No 1, but 63) delivers a stand-out performance as an elegant mother of the bride and Brit' actor Kris Marshall brings a smile to the face every time he's on screen. It's a sharp script, slapstick at times, and sums up the mood of a contemporary expensive wedding. Why there has been a recent fashion of having three best men to a wedding - and I've been to several in recent years - I don't know. But the writer exploits the situation and also the clash of cultures between Britain and Australia. Good performances all round, some very funny scenes and a realism which works in comedy. I can be a miserable film-watcher and have walked out of plenty. But this brightened my week.
You meet the girl of your dreams, and with the feeling being mutual,
decide to fast track the romance into marriage. It's one of the big
decisions in life, and so you engage some help from your pals, who
happen to be some of the most disorganized bunch ever, unintentionally
lining up what would be one of life's most memorable events with a
series of mishaps and accidents that are just waiting to happen, from
run ins with drug dealers, abuse of drugs and drink, and an animal
featured somewhere as well. No this is not The Hangover films, although
at first glance A Few Best Men may seem to tread on similar territory.
Unlike the American films that focus on extreme shenanigans, A Few Best Men may deal with similar wedding blues in comedic fashion, but was rather a bit more restrained in its grossness, although toilet humour is something staple that is never too far away and utilized when there's a need to for maximum effect. This Australian production follows a more British route with witty repartee, and quirky, zany characters peppering the landscape, with probably the only sane people in the entire film being the groom David (Xavier Samuel) and his bride Mia (Laura Brent).
The titular characters refer to David's best mates Tom (Kris Marshall) who's usually the catalyst of problems with his indifferent attitude, Graham (Kevin Bishop) the somewhat dim witted follower, and Luke (Tim Draxi) who still can't get over the break up with his ex. Together they lend support to David as his best men for his wedding, making that round the world trip from England to Australia. Mia on the other hand comes from a political family, with a senator for a dad in Jim (Jonathan Biggins) whose more than proud to turn his daughter's wedding into political gain, wife Barbara (Olivia Newton-John, probably the largest name in this ensemble), and sister Daphne (Rebel Wilson last seen in What To Expect When You're Expecting). With worlds so different colliding together, sparks fly in similar, slowly but surely fashion to Meet the Fockers, with a scene being somewhat of a lift off The Hangover when the stag's night out turned into one big blur.
A Few Best Men sees the long awaited return by director Stephan Elliott, who did the acclaimed Priscilla Queen of the Desert. And I have to admit unabashedly that I'm somewhat of a fan of writer Dean Craig's work, after what he did with Death at a Funeral, dealing with something similar with family and friends' shenanigans standing out during life's ceremonies, and in a way this film seemed like a spiritual companion to his earlier work for the way it encompassed rip tickling moments over one of life's major rituals. It's basically Murphy's Law put on display here, with everything that can go wrong actually do go wrong, with a couple of surprise (some may argue convenient) twists thrown in for good measure.
The soundtrack is also noteworthy in the film, consisting of mostly evergreens and oldies from the 60s and 70s, and having Olivia Newton-John lend her vocals as well. In fact, her character becomes what would be the live wire of the film as it wore on, together with Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop drawing the loudest of laughs thanks to their subplot involving their quest for weed from which everything got intricately tied to no thanks to their being stuck with contraband drugs, and being quite inept in helping the groom settle and solve the mess they got everyone into.
If one is game for ensemble films and buddy type ones where the inevitably lessons extracted will be themes on brotherhood, friendship and family, with lots of laughs thrown in from good measure, then A Few Best Men would be your choice this week during the summer season breather in between blockbusters hitting the cinemas. Highly recommended!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to quickly start by saying that if you're not going to watch an
entire movie you shouldn't be writing a review; it doesn't benefit
This film started badly; it was cliché'd, predictably written and the acting was average at best. I got 20 minutes in and nearly gave up. I'm glad I stayed though, because this film snowballs in to a hilarious treat with utter chaos brimming out of every scene in the third act. It's not that you didn't see it coming, because you usually do, but that you weren't expecting it to all come at once! There's a perfect moment with the groom party, a gun and an unconscious sheep that is funnier than any single part of the Hangover, though taken as a whole it falls a little short.
If you're expecting to be knocked out by a sensitive, provocative and intelligent drama then you'll be disappointed, but not every film should cater to the highest common denominator. If you've got 138 minutes to kill and feel like laughing at something preposterous then you could do a lot worse than this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On a tropical holiday David (Xavier Samuel) meets an Australian girl
named Mia (Laura Brent) and they quickly fall in love. At a surprise
party back home in the UK, David tells his three mates that he and Mia
are getting married in Australia. The lads are unhappy about this
because they don't want to lose him and also because they'll have to
fly over there. They're an odd bunch. Tom (Kris Marshall) doesn't want
to grow up. Graham (Kevin Bishop) is always pushed around by the other
lads and Luke (Tim Draxl) is miserable, trying to win his ex-girlfriend
back. The men arrive in Australia and are at the mercy of Mia's strict
father Jim (Jonathan Biggins) and his wife Barbara (Olivia
Newtown-John). Jim is a wealthy senator, looking to impress his
contacts with the lavish wedding but is frequently at odds with his
other daughter Daphne (Rebel Wilson), who may or may not be a lesbian.
The lads find themselves in trouble when they try purchasing some
marijuana from a drug dealer with emotional problems and also when they
have a crazy night together, the day before the wedding. They wake up
to find they've been tormenting Jim's prized campaign sheep.
Colourful British wit makes light of black Aussie humour, burying memories of awful local comedies from the early millennium. The film is an Australian-UK coproduction. It was directed by an Australian, Stephan Elliott, but written by Dean Craig, the same Brit who penned Death at a Funeral (2007). That was another film I greatly enjoyed and this is a similar mixture of genres. It combines fish out of water with comedic farce, along with setups from countless other films. It is impossible not to recall the likes of Death at a Funeral and even The Hangover (2009). Yet the essential ingredients for a great movie on its own rights have not been forgotten. This is the funniest Australian film I have seen in years. What's important here is how the comedy is played out. The lads here are fools and regularly make a meal out of everything they touch. Yet you can't bring yourself to hate them because we understand they're out of their depth in a foreign environment, both geographically and class-wise too. And this might just be my own jet- black sense of humour talking but there is something immensely appealing to watch and listen to with self-depreciative humour. The lads in this movie are gifted comedians. They know how to keep a straight face as they poke fun of themselves, their social problems and eccentricities. I enjoyed the film enormously for this reason, the lack of winking, but also the variety of comedy too. On top of the rapid quips between the men and their jabs at each other, there are some delicious sight gags too. The film never makes a huge point of them, so look sharply for a picture of the Queen wearing Joker makeup, or the face of an airline passenger after Graham tries to defend his Hitler moustache. I enjoy comedy when it speaks for itself and lets us read the jokes without any help. By far my favourite scene is, I think, when Graham has to give an unprepared best man speech and is so high that he spends the whole time talking about something indescribable.
The silences of the guests and the way the camera scans the reaction of their faces is just hysterical. Screenwriter Dean Craig employs a lot of the same farce-like comedy from Death at a Funeral, with people behind doors, o r moving in and out of rooms secretively. The material is reused cleverly because director Elliott gives us a complete overview of the impending chaos. Take the scene where the boys are trying to attend to the sheep they've tormented. The camera cuts to the corridor outside the room, providing vision of who is about to walk in on them. Just like the wedding speech scene, they know how to really build the tension and extend the jokes. The comedy works because there's a lot at stake. Just when you think a giant ball crushing the wedding is the craziest the film can become, you're wrong: it continues to reach new levels of insanity. For as well constructed as a lot of the film is, some of the editing is noticeably choppy. Snippets of scenes sometimes feel out of place, or interrupt confrontations and could have been removed altogether. This is a small complaint that most people won't notice and its mostly in the first half too. For all of this film's lunacy, and there's a lot, the tension comes from characters that have resemblance of actual feelings. David is a sympathetic lead because he's torn between his mates, his only real family we learn, and a far more prestige life that he is trying to adapt to. I particularly liked it when he and Mia started questioning how little they know about each other. It's a sensible turning point. The lovable lads are very distinctive and funny with their sets of problems but they share some of the laughs with the women too. I particularly liked Olivia Newton-John as the mother with a wild side. This gem of a film was absolutely delightful and I sincerely hope its quality is indicative of all Australian films this year.
I usually like Brit humor and, to be honest, movies that make me cringe I don't usually find entertaining. Other than the most vomitous soundtrack I have ever subjected my ears to this was NOT as bad as some reviewers have indicated. I don't know why someone that is offended by low brow humor would even watch this kind of comedy. And I find it a LITTLE bit pretentious to expect this movie to be Henry James. For what it was it wasn't too bad. It was predictable in places and , I confess to cringing more than once, but I didn't expect some esoteric mind numbing voyage when I watched the movie and in that I wasn't disappointed. As one reviewer said it wasn't "Death at a Funeral" but I don't feel I have wasted hours of my life.
It is good to see that Australia is returning to the comedy idiom after such a long absence since Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla going back to the early 90's Having said that although I found it quite amusing the first half an hour was a bit flat and until it got into the silliness that most of the comedy consisted of it did not hit the mark. Olivia Newton John surprises in a comedy performance as mother of the bride and it was good to see this Australian icon back on the big screen. The absurdity of some of the situations that unfold is certainly reminiscent of Death at a Funeral but falls short of that comedy gem. Nevertheless it is worth going to see and has more laughs than some American so called comedies
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just finished watching this movie and was not going to put a review
up here but after reading some of the more vitriolic reviews I decided
this movie needed a counter to the nastier reviews posted on here about
***** Oh Yes, there will be spoilers ***** Where to begin? Firstly the premise of the movie is great. Guy meets girl while on vacation, falls madly in love and by the end of it decides to propose. She of course, accepts, otherwise the movie would not have been made.
THEN, We meet the "family" of the groom to be who happens to be probably the most immature but lovable group of friends that anyone could have.
Now we have a clash of cultures and a clash of class when the friends and groom meet the family. Old world England meets New world ex-colony Australia and working class meets the very rich and powerful. If that alone is not enough to cause some consternation we simply add to the mix by having the boys get into circumstances that albeit might have been in their control at first, quickly get out of control.
To the one reviewer that was upset because there was a sheep being "violated" in the movie, get a grip, it's a movie, I'm PRETTY sure that the actor did NOT truly have his arm up some sheep's behind and they didn't really feed the sheep any laxatives.
What makes this movie funny and crazy at the same time is that you can actually think that the various "fixes" to the problems the boys are coming up with are bona fide and you sit there watching it thinking that it's not such a crazy idea. i.e. lowering a sheep out of a 2nd story window with a harness of bedsheets so the guests at the front of the house don't get a chance to see it.
All in all, the movie didn't get me laughing so hard that tears were flowing but it did make me chuckle aloud more than a few times and I did truly feel sorry for poor David who was just trying to get through his wedding day unscathed.
Other than telegraphing a few of the punchlines, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to have a few laughs.
On a final note, I personally did not see anything in this movie that could be considered "racist" in any way, shape or form. I do not think any less of my British or Australian friends after watching this movie so I really don't understand what you are trying to allude to with your comment that this movie was racist.
I use IMDb a lot for reviews and ratings as much as for info about the movies. In fact for years I've been using it as a non-member. It took this unbelievably awful movie to make me sign in and write my first review ever. There is nothing redeemable about this rubbish. The characters are awful, the acting horrendous, the directing abysmal, the plot ridiculous. This is supposed to be a modern, funky British slapstick with a good dollop of Australian blunt humour, but what it turns out to be is a pathetic, amateurish, cringe-worthy waste of film. Whatever you do, never watch this movie. Every copy needs to be wiped and all records of it expunged.
"A Few Best Men" meets my first and primary criterion for a comedy
film, that it offers many laughs. Comedy takes many forms and not every
joke is right for every audience. Some will doubtlessly find the
scatological humor offensive. However, the film offers a wide range of
humor from burlesque physical comedy to comic irony. The filmmakers
employ a range of comic techniques including running gags, 1-2-3
punches, pratfalls, sarcasm, sight gags, etc.
Much of the film is familiar. It doesn't break much new ground that hasn't been explored in similar films such as "I Love You, Man," "Wedding Crashers," "The Wedding Ringer" and other comedies. But the cast approach their roles with such vitality that the material seems fresh.
There are numerous similarities to "The Hangover" and its sequels. We don't actually witness the bachelor party. A tight group of four friends is threatened by the marriage of one. One of the best men is a sybaritic mischief-maker who introduces drugs into the equation. The protagonist and his three sidekicks must repair the damage they caused without the bride or future in-laws becoming the wiser. There are complications with criminal elements and identical bags are switched. But the cast and filmmakers manage to make the material seem fresh. As long as the laughs keep rolling, one doesn't stop to analyze similarities to other films.
While the humor is raucous, ribald and uninhibited, it also seemed more restrained, particularly compared to the Hangover films. Some scenes felt as if they could have been pushed much further. The initial encounter with the drug dealer became weird, but could have been much weirder. A large rolling object creates havoc, but much of it is offstage and it only rolls once. We see some bare male backsides, but no other nudity and only one outfit is destroyed, although it is subjected to multiple humiliations. It would have been nice to see outtakes during the credits.
Production values were more than adequate. Performances were solid with particular kudos to Kris Marshall.
It would be easy to dismiss the film as derivative, but whatever it lacks in originality is more than compensated for by the energy of its performers.
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