A Few Best Men (2011)






THE SCOOP

Director:  Stephan Elliott
Cast:  Laura BrentXavier Samuel, Kris Marshall, Kevin Bishop, Tim Draxl, Olivia Newton John.
Plot:  A comedy about a groom and his three best men who travel to the Australian outback for a wedding.

Genre:  Comedy

Awards:  -
Runtime:  97min
Rating:  M18 for crude humor and drug use. 

IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: MILD)

"I'm not sticking my hand up anything's arse!" 

As its title suggests, this movie promises a wedding, and then some. It belongs to the popular sub-genre of raunchy comedies centering on an important social event where everything that can go wrong, not only goes wrong,  but goes horribly, funnily wrong.

A cross between The Hangover (2009) and Bridesmaids (2011), A Few Best Men brings together successful elements from both films, garnishing it with British-Australian humour and flavour, and setting it in a remote part of Australia. The result is a mixed bag of knock-yourself-out moments and wasted opportunities. 

Directed by Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 1994; Easy Virtue, 2008) and written by Death at a Funeral (2007) scribe Dean Craig, A Few Best Men is consistently engaging, although one could tell it tries too hard to do so.

Jokes are scattered everywhere, though a portion only hits the bulls-eye. But when it comes to building up to major comedic set-pieces, it does so with aplomb, with the most memorable coming from an explicit groom-toasting speech by Graham (Kevin Bishop).

The groom is David (Xavier Samuel), who is about to wed Mia (Laura Brent) after a chance meeting on a holiday island. David leaves Britain for Australia to meet Mia's parents and for his glamorous wedding. And of course, he brings his trio of close guy friends whose collective middle name reads 'trouble'.

Graham, Tom (Kris Marshall) and Luke (Tim Draxl) are their real names actually, and they are names the bride and her parents would never forget. The performances are average, with their acting hinging on how comedic situations unfold rather than through the portraying of character.

A Few Best Men turns up the requisite 'yuck' factor in a sequence that sees the guys trying to remove some small bags of cocaine that the family sheep has accidentally swallowed... via its anus - a gross-out set-piece that rivals that of Bridesmaids' basin-pooping scene in its crassness.

As the movie reaches its finale, things become more chaotic as the characters try to stay sane in theirs or others' insanity. Character motivation is not always fleshed out, and in the film's final minutes, a major character does a decisional u-turn that seems to allude to the fact that the movie has run its course and needs to end soon, rather than one borne out of inner motivation.

Occasionally fun, frequently uncouth, and always trying too hard to impress, A Few Best Men is a formulaic exercise with some moments of true hilarity.

Verdict:  The Hangover meets Bridesmaids British-Australian style, imperfect but still occasionally funny.


GRADE: C+








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