Debuting Tuesday, April 28 on Blu-ray and DVD, The Wedding Ringer (R, 101 minutes) features Kevin Hart as Jimmy Callahan, a skilled “best man” for hire. Jimmy, however, has the biggest challenge of his career as he must also find also find seven groomsmen for his latest client, the friendless Doug Harris (The Comedians’ Josh Gad).
Although The Wedding Ringer’s top of the line stars (including Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting who plays Doug’s materialistic bride Gretchen), a huge part of the film’s success lies in the comedy’s ensemble. Comic Affion Crockett (Baggage Claim) and Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost) are among Doug’s bumbling, arrested developmentally challenged groomsmen. Ken Howard (The White Shadow, 30 Rock) and Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope, Kiss Me Deadly) also get their chance to shine (Leachman’s relative cameo is a “fiery” one, and Howard gets to team up with Joe Namath in a mud soaked football match).
Co-written and directed by Jeremy Garelick, The Wedding Ringer lets his inspired cast of co-stars share in the yuks, thus enabling Hart and Gad, at times, to infuse a tinge of melodrama into their roles. Although the film deals with the hilarity that ensues before and during a wedding, the picture’s main focus revolves around Doug and Jimmy’s budding friendship.
Whitney Cummings and Jeff Ross are among the plethora of cameos featured in the film, with Josh Peck (The Wackness, Drake & Josh) standing out amidst the talented crowd as a best man who gives the worst wedding speech known to man (one should never reference Adolf Hitler during a wedding).
The biggest surprise of The Wedding Ringer was a minor sub-plot that deals with Jimmy’s (Hart) attraction to Gretchen’s quick witted sister Alison (Olivia Thirlby). Though their moments together are all too brief, Hart and Thirlby possess an innate on-screen rapport.
While “The Wedding Ringer” has its share of raunchy, broad, and physical comedy, it also throws in a playful spoof of two movies from yesteryear (E.T. and The Usual Suspects). Both bits, like most of the jokes in the film, are spot-on funny.
Special Features: Though DVD and Blu-ray owners are treated to a “Going to the Chapel of Love” featurette and select scenes commentary with Garelick and Gad, the deleted scenes are a Blu-ray exclusive.
If you enjoyed “The Wedding Ringer,” the deleted scenes are a total must watch for a few reasons:
Whitney Cummings and Jeff Ross have much more lines in their respective deleted scenes. And if you’ve seen any of the Comedy Central roasts or are familiar with their material, extra time with both comedians is a good thing.
One sequence deals with Alison (Thirlby) beginning to suspect that Doug’s best man (Hart) isn’t exactly what he’s cracked up to be (Jimmy is masquerading as a priest). The scene, which was completely excised from the final cut, only supports my assertion that Hart and Thirlby have chemistry (their back and forth banter, subtly hinted in The Wedding Ringer, would be perfect in a remake of the underrated James Stewart/Claudette Colbert flick It’s A Wonderful World – but hey, that’s just me!).
Josh Peck’s embarrassingly hilarious wedding speech is in full display, and in this deleted scene Peck goes a bit darker in his monologue, adding drugs and crackheads into the mix.
Josh Gad’s funniest exchange with Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting was also truncated in the theatrical version. That full scene, which touches on an ex-boyfriend’s organ, anal sex, and the song “You Are So Beautiful,” is now available!
***There’s over 21 minutes worth of deleted scenes in The Wedding Ringer. Other special features include the Aloe Blacc music video “Can You Do This” and 14 minutes worth of the cast’s alternate versions of jokes during production.
Summary: Comedic wise, The Wedding Ringer, has a ton of meat on the bone, and though both Kevin Hart and Josh Gad are more than up to the task as the leads, the talented ensemble also brings their share of hilarity to the proceedings. Also: make sure you watch the movie’s end credits for an extra scene.