Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘The Wedding Ringer’ integrates heart into crude comedy

Maintaining vulgarity without stereotype, comedians Kevin Hart and actor Josh Gad provoke audiences to laughter in a surprisingly heartfelt romantic comedy. Matt Whitney reviews "The Wedding Ringer."

(Poster provided by
(Poster provided by

Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is a workaholic loner who is getting married but has no one to be his best man. On the other hand, Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) is a businessman of an unusual sort – one who sells himself as a best man to those in need of one. When the two associate in “The Wedding Ringer,” hilarity ensues.

Kevin Hart is a comic genius. Establishing himself as one of the funniest men in Hollywood, whenever he is on screen, laughter is sure to ensue. This coupled with the film’s originality left me comically satisfied from start to finish.

Josh Gad, however, is a different story. Most of the film, he served the purpose of either being the butt of jokes or the source of tender moments (which gave the film a more meaningful tone). Although I would have liked to see Gad perform better, I appreciate that his character was rounded beyond that of a static comic.

What made this film stand out as a comedy was the infusion of kindhearted scenes throughout. On various occasions, Harris and Callahan vulnerably share intimate moments. It would have been very easy for the writers to turn these moments into a gag about men and their emotions. Instead, they let them play out for what they were, giving the story weight.

While this film was vulgar and used a homosexual wedding planner as a source for much of the comedy, there were times where it showed restraint. For example, one scene has both characters dominate the dance floor at a wedding. The scene is funny, yet there is no homosexual insinuation. I was impressed with that since Hollywood often enjoys using homosexuality as a source of comedy.

Toward the end of the film, Callahan says, “It’s not about how many friends you have. It’s about how you make your friends feel when they’re around you.” This closing line sums up the feeling of the film. Although listed as a romantic comedy, it is a buddy movie through and through.


Matt Whitney is a senior film production major. This review reflects the opinion of the writer only.

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