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Movie Review

A Few Best Men

Reviewer Rating
User Rating

Director: Stephan Elliott

Starring: Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall, Kevin Bishop, Jonathan Biggins, Tim Draxl, Laura Brent, Rebel Wilson, Olivia Newton-John, Steve Le Marquand

Duration: 96 minutes

Certificate 15A

1 of 5 No need for the two in the middle
No need for the two in the middle
2 of 5 A lowbrow comedy
A lowbrow comedy
3 of 5 Newton-John, who plays the up-for-it mother, had much more to give than the script allowed
Newton-John, who plays the up-for-it mother, had much more to give than the script allowed
4 of 5 Sheep and drugs
Sheep and drugs
5 of 5 Lovers of all things dumb and bawdy will get a couple of laughs
Lovers of all things dumb and bawdy will get a couple of laughs

Best known for playing Nick in BBC's My Family, Kris Marshall's turn as sex-obsessed misfit Colin in Love Actually suggested that he would become a go-to guy for US movie comedies in no time. Bizarrely, those bigger roles didn't follow, but A Few Best Men is a reminder of the great timing and physical comedy Marshall can offer. And if you want an example of actors in supporting comedy roles saving a movie from becoming The Hangover Part II, then Marshall and co-star Kevin Bishop show how it's done here.

A lowbrow directing job for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert writer-director Stephan Elliott, A Few Best Men follows the misfortunes of David (Samuel), who meets, falls for and proposes to Australian Mia (Brent) during a 10-day tropical sojourn. Dreading the long engagement, David returns to London to tell best pals Tom (Marshall), Graham (Bishop) and Luke (Draxl) that they have to go Down Under for the nuptials (in one of those stick-in-the-craw plot elements David is an orphan, so these three disasters are the closest thing he has to family). Arriving in Sydney, the gang discover that Mia is from serious wedge and that the wedding will be held at her politician father Jim's (Biggins) statesman-like pile in the outback. A ruthless careerist, Jim thinks he has left nothing to chance with the guest list - but that was before he met Tom, Graham and Luke.

Sheep and drugs are the disorder of the big day here and lovers of all things dumb and bawdy will get a couple of laughs from this romp. A Few Best Men, however, had the potential in its set-up to be as funny as Bridesmaids and The Hangover but falls down due to its casting and a lack of top quality gags. Twilight star Samuel isn't engaging as the movie's leading man and you don't care what happens him; bride-to-be Brent is anonymous and Newton-John, who plays her up-for-it mother, and Wilson, who plays her sister, had much more to give than the script allowed. It's left, then, to Marshall and Bishop to come to the rescue; they're the best bits of all the best scenes and as the mayhem escalates it becomes obvious that either one of them should've played the groom.

If your better half feels the same way about this film as you do then you really are perfect for each other.

Harry Guerin

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