After meeting and spending ten days together while on separate vacations in Tuvalu, twenty-somethings Londoner David Locking and Sydneysider Mia Ramme fall in love and decide to get married, the wedding to take place on the clifftop estate outside of Sydney of Mia's parents, Jim and Barbara Ramme, the former an Australian senator. The plan is for David to move to Australia after the wedding. But first, David, who has been away for six months, has to go home to tell his twenty year best mates Tom, Graham and Luke, who have been his family in the absence of having no blood relatives of his own. The four best friends are to arrive in Sydney the day before the wedding. Each of David's three "best men" have the potential to derail the festivities based on who they are and what they are currently going through in life. Luke is nursing a broken heart as his girlfriend Sarah broke up with him. He is not as much upset about the break-up as he is about the rumor, if true, of a fundamental ...Written by
Excellent performance make familiar material seem fresh
"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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