A pair of friends embark on a mission to reunite their pal with the woman he was going to marry.A pair of friends embark on a mission to reunite their pal with the woman he was going to marry.A pair of friends embark on a mission to reunite their pal with the woman he was going to marry.
One character spends much of the movie fully nude and to his credit, approaches the role without reservations. But the sheer volume of full-frontal male nudity raises the question of why screenwriters and filmmakers present naked characters on screen. One reason is for erotic stimulation and titillation, which would not seem to be the purpose here. Another might be for comic effect, but that quickly wears thin. The more valid reasons would be to make the character vulnerable or honest. Here we get some comic effect and vulnerability mileage, but neither is exploited fully. Being vulnerable before an anonymous third-world hooker doesn't have the same comic potential as being naked before one's boss, mother- in-law or a capacity crowd at a sports tournament. More judicious presentation of male nudity with greater intensity might have been more successful.
The film's greatest shortcoming is that the characters don't have strong motivations for their outrageous, illogical and dangerous actions. They often seem trying to sell their motivations to the audience and to one another. The motivations should be obvious.
Given the familiar arc of boy meets girl / boy loses girl / boy wins girl back, we should understand the dynamics of each transition and what they see in each other to form our own opinions as to whether they belong together or not. We shouldn't see a couple of drunk, stoned guys sitting in a van presenting detached exposition. We should see the change in both characters. What is her life like without him and his life without her? What do they learn and experience that causes them to realize their mistake and reassess their positions? We don't want to see them embrace and tell one another about it. We should already know.
While the film is similar to "The Hangover" in many respects, there is a significant difference in that the betrothed couple disavow their love for one another. In TH, the three best men merely had to get Doug back in time for the ceremony. In SP, the bride and groom need to prove their love for one another and their worthiness. The journey to Mexico doesn't really cut it, as it could be no more than stalking and an immature refusal to accept rejection. Evan is the one who risks his career to prove his friendship to Nardo, but his initial participation is involuntary. The hardships they endure are unanticipated, so don't have the same dramatic impact as knowingly undertaking risks. Evan chooses to continue the journey rather than returning to salvage his career, but even this is undermined because he later declares ulterior motives. The characters don't reach a point where they deliberately risk everything to achieve their goals. Nor is there a compelling moment when all seems lost.
The film is a pleasant diversion. It's not hilarious, but tries to be funny and often succeeds. Given its obvious budgetary constraints, production values are adequate. It's not cerebral, but doesn't try to be. It tries to be outrageous and often succeeds.
The film is worth viewing and offers a fair number of laughs if ones expectations aren't too high.
- Jun 7, 2015