The cast/crew bit: directed by Stephen Elliott, starring Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop
The ten-word synopsis: Brit decides to marry holiday lover; Mates are wedding imbeciles.
It’s a film probably best known for providing the “What is Ramsey doing in my room?” line for Cineworlds’ ‘Summer of movies’ trailer they show at every single screening for about 6 months. At a push, you might’ve seen a trailer and recognised the bloke from the old BT adverts. Let’s leave it that way, as British-Australian wedding comedy A Few Best Men has but a few good lines and no best bits.
Focussing on a group of ‘lads’ (With all the connotations inverted commas bring) from London, one of said boys had recently come back from holiday in an island off the coast of Australia, where he fell in love with a girl. However, instead of letting it die, he proposes to her. He brings his three stupid mates over to Australia for the wedding. You can kind of figure out how this is going to play out without seeing any of the movie.
However, if you do happen to see any of it, then you’ll know exactly what’s going to happen, in detail, probably a good 20 to 30 minutes before it does happen. Now, I have, over the years, developed a knack for predicting punchlines, but it’s not often that I could, where the film stopped and I given a pen and paper, write you a near-perfect synopsis of the next 20 minutes of the film in detail. Why’s he taking a bag into the drug dealers? So they can do a bag swap, of course! Oh, what’s that? The sheep’s in the same room as the drug dealers’ bag? I hear William Hill have already stopped taking bets on whether or not Ramsey’ll eat the drugs.
The thing is, most of these scenarios aren’t even delivered with any kind of pizzaz. Whereas other situation-based comedies, such as the previously reviewed Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies or The Inbetweeners, tend to pad the cringey scenario out with couple of pieces of wordplay, or in the case of the Inbetweeners for example, usually another, funnier, addition to the bad thing happening, A Few Best men is quite happy to leave it there. It’s quite happy to improvise a ‘funny’ solution, but the problem is that nine times out of ten, it’s not funny. The cast just aren’t very funny and the script isn’t very good. It’s a shame, really, as there are a couple of ideas that, with a correct set-up could have been quite amusing.
There’s also a bizarre reoccurring Monty Python reference that they don’t even seem to recognise is a Monty Python reference. When it was said once, I smirked in appreciation, to say “I got that”, but when it came back again and again I wondered what gave them the right to use the line. This is so far away from Python, which for my money is pretty much the pinnacle of comedy, that they shouldn’t be allowed to reuse a Python joke. I wasn’t angry as such, just surprised at the writers’ audacity. A Few Best Men isn’t a very good film, it’s not a film that’s going to be remembered, and I think everybody involved knew it, showcased in the uninterested, lacklustre performances from half those involved. It’s watchable enough to pass the time, but probably worth just leaving out to dry in this scorching Australian ‘Summer of movies’.
4 really odd scenes in which two reunited lovers just run into each other and bump heads and it just doesn’t even work as a joke because the rest of the film takes a completely different comedic tone out of 10