Sep 12 2012 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge
A Few Best Men
AS comedy concepts go, you could do worse than come up with an Anglo-Aussie version of The Hangover.
Sadly, A Few Best Men doesn’t take this idea and run with it, instead deciding to pluck ideas from other comedies and plunge into ever increasing levels of too ridiculous farce.
Xavier Samuel (David) and Laura Brent (Mia) play a couple who meet and fall in love during a whirlwind holiday romance.
They decide to get married in Mia’s Australian homeland so David returns home to England to bring his three best friends, Tom (Kris Marshall), Graham (Kevin Bishop) and Luke (Tim Draxl), back to Australia for the wedding.
But the English-set scenes consist of about 10 minutes in a very wet, trash-filled London.
It’s been 18 years since Australian director Stephan Elliott helmed and wrote drag queen comedy hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert but he never comes close to hitting those heights here.
He wheels out aerial camera shots and screen wipes to try and inject some visual flair but it’s all pretty pointless, and the former a clear attempt to highlight Australia’s landscapes for would-be tourists.
The film’s trailer suggested Hangover-type lads on the lash carnage but the end product is more like Meet the Parents mixed with Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Scriptwriter Dean Craig penned awful 2010 comedy Death at a Funeral and his penchant for mostly unfunny farcical humour rears its ugly head once again.
Antics involving a drug dealer and a sheep called Ramsey are more tiresome than hilarious, unless seeing someone feeding a sheep laxatives and sticking their hand up its backside are your idea of funny.
The wedding takes place around 40 minutes in and you’re left thinking ‘where will it go from here?’
The answer? Nowhere interesting.
This movie’s ‘Wolf Pack’ of bromantic buddies are very hit and miss.
Twilight’s Samuel is painfully lacklustre as a toffish straight man and Draxl’s poncy moaner belongs in another film.
Any decent laughs come from ex-My Family star Marshall and fellow Brit Bishop (Star Stories, Peep Show).
The pair embrace the craziness, with Bishop in particular good comic value wearing a Hitler moustache and delivering a cringeworthy best man’s speech.
Grease legend Olivia Newton-John makes a very rare big screen appearance.
And though she proves to be game for some drug-induced hi-jinks late on, her performance becomes way too over the top.
The soundtrack is full of bizarre cover versions and Elliott strangely films repeated shots of the wedding band (maybe they performed at his wedding?)
A Few Best Men’s biggest problem is we’ve seen it all before, to much higher standards.
And the coolest thing in the film?
A Queen Elizabeth II as Heath Ledger’s Joker poster.
I want one!
Rating – 4 out of 10.