The Wedding Ringer movie review: manfriendwhore for sale

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The Wedding Ringer red light

A festering pile of fatphobic, homophobic, sexist, grossout garbage in which men are manipulative liars but women are worse.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): the premise sounded awful

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

I’ve said it before, but it has never been more applicable than with The Wedding Ringer: there is nothing men can do, no matter how base or despicable, that cannot be celebrated on film. This movie thinks it is a tragi-comedy lamenting the state of modern manhood, which leaves so many men without strong male friendships. And this truly is a bad thing, and there is perhaps a funny and touching movie to be made about that. But this festering pile of fatphobic, homophobic, sexist, child- and grandma-abusing, grossout garbage is not it. Doug (Josh Gad: Frozen) has literally no friends he can ask to be in his wedding party for his impending nuptials to Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). Oh, he’s been lying about the existence of friends, and he’s gotten away with this because… why? His bride-to-be doesn’t think it strange that she has never met any of his “friends”? But Gretchen is far from alone in being an easily manipulated lady-dupe, because Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart: This Is the End) has built an entire business out of supplying himself as a fake best man at the weddings of men who have done the same thing, and gotten away with it! The brides never catch on, the stupid shallow bitches: they got their fairy-tale wedding and snagged a husband, so it’s all good. Enter Jimmy to help Doug in his moment of panic, and it gets worse from there. This is an all-around appalling depiction of both genders, although women get the worst of it. Because for all their lying, cheating, cowardly, desperate, deplorable scumbag behavior, ultimately Doug and Jimmy console themselves with this soothing fact: at least they’re not women.


See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of The Wedding Ringer for its representation of girls and women.

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RogerBW
RogerBW
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 5:39pm

If we’re playing in Stereotype Land, the bride ought to be glad the groom has no friends, because that way she doesn’t have to prevent him from ever seeing them again.

Jurgan
Jurgan
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 6:42pm

So, this is a bromance version of The Wedding Date? I imagine Doug and Jimmy become best friends by the end, and maybe Doug breaks up with his fiancee because wise Jimmy shows him he doesn’t need a woman?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Jurgan
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 9:56pm

SPOILERS

You’re correct on the first. And the wedding does indeed get called off, but only because Doug discovers that Gretchen was settling for him.

bronxbee
bronxbee
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 6:50pm

i don’t understand, if this guy doesn’t have even *one* male friend, how did he manage to capture the heart (?) and hand of this woman? because, what possible social skills does he bring to the table?

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  bronxbee
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 6:52pm

Even if he has social skills, how has he managed to meet a woman (and get to know her well enough to marry her) _without_ making male friends too?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  bronxbee
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 9:57pm

He’s a Nice Guy. He’s naturally desirable for his money and his talent as a doormat.

MarkyD
reply to  bronxbee
Sat, Feb 21, 2015 5:14am

Interesting comment. I can honestly say that I do not even have one friend, male or female, besides me wife. I suppose I would consider a co-worker or two a friend, but I’ve never done anything with any of them outside of work.

All the things I enjoy doing are solitary activities, or are best done(IMHO) alone. Gardening, movies, video games, reading, etc.

My social skills are just fine, thanks. I’m not out there giving public speeches, but I have no issues with people at work, volunteering, or doing anything else. I’m an introverted person who prefers the company of plants over people.
BTW, I met my wife through a mutual friend(yeah, I had one or two at one point in my life). She asked ME out. We’ve been married for 16 years. My best, and only, friend.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  MarkyD
Sat, Feb 21, 2015 11:22am

I think it’s true of many men that their only close emotional support comes from their wives or girlfriends. It’s why men fare poorly after a divorce, and why so many tend to remarry so quickly.

In this movie, the guy doesn’t even have male buddies to hang out with and watch football while they avoid having any meaningful conversations, so he’s an extreme example of a reality for many men.

MarkyD
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Feb 21, 2015 7:52pm

Ok, so he actually wants some friends. That’s different, as I am perfectly content the way things are. I don’t even know how I would find time for them, even if I had any. Weird thought, huh?
This movie looks awful, regardless of the conversation. Thanks

Richard Climer
Richard Climer
Sun, May 10, 2015 3:29am

So is this place the tumblr of movie sites or what?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Richard Climer
Sun, May 10, 2015 10:13am

Meaning what? I presume you are attempting to insult me, but I’m not clear how. How does this review make me “the tumblr of movie sites”?

Richard Climer
Richard Climer
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, May 11, 2015 5:55am

I’m confused as to how the movie is “fatphobic”

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Richard Climer
Mon, May 11, 2015 2:48pm

I don’t understand how that is a response to the question I asked.

But to answer your question: He breaks his own desk by sitting on it in the opening scene. That’s a fat “joke.”

Now, would you care to answer *my* question?

Richard Climer
Richard Climer
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, May 11, 2015 3:45pm

I’m pretty sure that happened because the table was made of GLASS. Not meant for sitting no matter what the weight. Regardless, prat-falling is one of the oldest tropes in comedy and frankly i believe being offended by it in this day and age to be pretty damn stupid (I can say that. I’m 298 myself.)

But yeah, by tumblr I meant finding “offensive” things where there aren’t any.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Richard Climer
Mon, May 11, 2015 10:52pm

Understood. Thank you for alerting me to what I may and may not be offended by. Very helpful.

Mr P
Mr P
Sat, May 23, 2015 3:06pm

I know I’m being manipulated in this film and I accept that fact. Is the humour at times insulting? Yes’ it is on many levels but it is what I accept for this genre of movie. The grandma lit on fire and then dismissed as unimportant wasn’t funny but the dog and the peanut butter was. Are their important life lessons we can learn from this movie and will I spend more than a minute sharing it with my friends . No. But it was mildly entertaining.

Life by Design
Life by Design
Sat, Aug 15, 2015 8:41pm

I just had the misfortune of watching this. Apart from the slapstick “humour”, the misogyny and overt sexism of this movie really pissed me off. Not because of their existence in the first place, but because of how acceptable it was portrayed as.