Monday, May 15, 2017

A Few Best Men (2011)

Number Rolled: 81
Movie Name/Year: A Few Best Men (2011)
Tagline: Keep your friends close, but don't invite them to your wedding.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Screen Australia, Quickfire Films, Screen NSW, Parabolic Pictures, Stable Way Entertainment, Unthank Films, Story Bridge Films, Ingenious Broadcasting, Auburn Entertainment
Producer: Antonia Barnard, Dean Craig, Todd Fellman, Gary Hamilton, Josh Kesselman, Mark R. Lindsay, Laurence Malkin, Share Stallings, James M. Vernon
Director: Stephan Elliott
Writer: Dean Craig
Actors: Laura Brent, Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall, Kevin Bishop, Tim Draxl, Elizabeth Debicki, Olivia Newton-John, Rebel Wilson, Jonathan Biggins, Oliver Torr, Steve Le Marquand, Alan Cinis, Kim Knuckey
Stunt Doubles: Perry Attfield, Ingrid Kleinig, Scott Marcus, Rhys Richards, Sharelle Starr, Ben Toyer

Blurb from Netflix: A would-be groom sees his wedding day turn into a fiasco when his terminally pubescent best friends, a drug dealer, and a male sheep enter the picture.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was the Australian version of the Hangover (2009) with a little more romance.

I’ll admit that there were some funny moments in A Few Best Men; I giggled here and there. I was even emotionally touched a few times, but I don’t think there was anything even remotely original about the film.

By fifteen minutes in, I not only knew the ending, but I called at least six things leading up to the ending. Big things. Things that were meant to be huge surprises.

That said, it wasn’t a terrible movie. It wasn’t painful to sit through or anything… just a little boring. I feel like a few minor tweaks in the plot or script could have easily turned this Hangover wannabe into something that could stand on its own.

After all, the acting wasn’t bad and some of the jokes were decent. I just wish they’d have done one thing, just ONE thing that didn’t fit the tropes one would expect.

Honestly, I think the writer was lazy.

If you really need some background noise, or to turn your brain off after a hard day, then this would be fine for you. I wouldn’t watch it if you’re looking for something to really make you roll from laughter, or something that would blow your mind. It’s not awesome and I’d bet it won’t even be memorable.

I suspect that in a year or two when I’m going through blog records I’m going to come across the title of this film and stare at it blankly until I speak to Cat and ask her what dimension we watched this in. (This is a thing that recently happened with the film If I Stay [2014]. I still don’t remember anything about that film.)

Cat’s Point of View:
I absolutely loved this movie.

I became intrigued with Xavier Samuel (Bait, Plush, Love & Friendship) a while back and sought out some of his work. From Shakespearean England to facing down tsunami-stranded sharks, he’s definitely shown that he has quite the range. Of course, this movie added some levity. Samuel played it brilliantly.

I really liked the chemistry between Samuel and his on-screen fiancé, Laura Brent (Legend of the Seeker, Healing, Secret City). It felt believable, even if parts of the tale itself were a little harder to suspend disbelief on. But who cares, really?

The movie was meant to be rollicking fun rather than some serious drama. There’s some irreverent humor - mostly spearheaded by friends Tom, Graham, and Luke; played by Kris Marshall (The Merchant of Venice, Meant to Be, Sparks and Embers), Kevin Bishop (Moonwalkers, The Rack Pack, Birds Like Us), and Tim Draxl (In My Sleep, Undocumented, A Place to Call Home) respectively.

There were a couple of pleasant surprises among the cast, as well. Before her career really took off, at least here in the States, Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Pain & Gain, The Brothers Grimsby) played the unsubtle sister of Brent’s character, Mia. I really enjoyed her performance – it avoided being too far over-the-top as some of her more recent roles have been.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Olivia Newton-John (Sordid Lives, The Wilde Girls, Score: A Hockey Musical). Not only does some of her music grace the soundtrack of the film, but she plays the mother-in-law to be. I adore her character here. She captured the essence of the politician’s wife – as well as handling the other demands of her role deftly. I can’t say more without giving too much away!

I could probably babble on forever about this movie, but I’ll spare you by leaving you with my firm recommendation that this film is great for some good laughs. I’ll likely watch this one again on more than one occasion.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 16%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 36%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.7/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R

P.S. Short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

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