Ready for another wedding comedy? ‘The Hangover’, ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘The Five-Year Engagement’… every time a new movie in this most curious of sub-genres becomes a hit, we are bombarded with many imitators looking for similar success, hence the new British-Australian comedy ‘A Few Best Men’.
Orphan David (Xavier Samuel) returns to London from travelling with a big announcement- he’s met the love of his life and is getting married in Australia. Completely thrown by this, his best friends and surrogate family- Tom (Kris Marshall), Graham (Kevin Bishop) and Luke (Tim Draxl), follow him down under for the big day.
With David’s bride Mia (Laura Brent) part of an important political family, everything has to go perfectly, but with the calamitous trio intent on a bit of hedonism, chaos ensues…. Exactly how a filmmaker who wrote and directed ‘Priscilla, Queen of The Desert’ could come up with something this generic is baffling, but Stephen Elliot turns out a film that holds few redeeming points.
Low-brow gags abound as the film starts well, albeit with an overly simple premise, before descending into a mundane spin on ‘The Hangover’. The script has the occasional chuckle to save it from being excruciating, but with no characters that you want to root for, there’s no sense of peril- you’re just watching four British comedy actors chasing a sheep (don’t ask).
Samuel and Brent are too good to be true as the love-struck couple, and lack any kind of development to make you care about their big day.
Rather, we are given very quick character set ups- Marshall’s almost sociopathic ‘wild’ best friend; Bishop’s prudish naive (a clear imitation of Ed Helms in ‘The Hangover’); and Tim Draxl’s completely pointless depressive.
Rebel Wilson (an old hand at this genre having appeared in ‘Bridesmaids’ and the forthcoming ‘Bachelorette’) is the one likeable performance, and while there is a certain comedy value in seeing Olivia Newton-John doing drugs, it gets old quickly.
If you truly cannot wait until another wedding/bachelor party movie comes along, then this might provide some diversion, but overall this formulaic comedy will not live long in the memory.