By Jason Clark
Updated January 27, 2015 at 05:00 AM EST
THE WEDDING RINGER Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Kevin Hart, and Josh Gad
Credit: Everett Collection

If the Will Smith-Kevin James comedy Hitch didn’t quite satisfy your itch to see a suave African-American man teach a rotund white dude how to hang, The Wedding Ringer—the kind of desperate bro-burlesque lately found in January of each year (see: That Awkward Moment)—seems happy to seize the dubious honor.

The premise is summed up entirely in its trailer: A schlubby, career-focused groom-to-be (Josh Gad) is engaged to an out-of-his-league bombshell (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) who’s unaware that he is utterly friendless. Professional best man and pal-for-hire (Kevin Hart) to the rescue! Said rescue includes babes, partying, peanut butter retrieval via canine, police evasion, and additional fratty antics that The Hangover and Wedding Crashers covered many years earlier. True to this genre’s form, you get to see at least one great actress stoop way below her standards—in this case, Cloris Leachman as Cuoco-Sweeting’s unlucky grandmother, who literally gets set on fire.

The Wedding Ringer is such a crudely edited, slapdash affair it often forgets about the characters it has introduced—especially the women. Chauvinism drips from this film more profusely than sweat from Hart and Gad as they try to force its tired material to work. Unless your idea of the ultimate screen comedy is to witness how many different ways a fat guy can fall down in one film, you’re probably better off breaking off this engagement. D

The Wedding Ringer

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