Boysmaids – A Few Best Men review

A Few Best Men – Starring Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton-John, and Rebel Wilson. Directed by Stephan Elliott. Rated MA. By Richard Haridy.

A Few Best Men arrives on DVD and Blu-ray May 25, 2012.

Here is your poster quote: I don’t hate A Few Best Men. The film is too facile and inconsequential to hate. Rather, A Few Best Men made me sad. As the credits rolled I felt a deflated sense of emptiness after having experienced 90 minutes of cinema that was so routine and uninspired it made the ‘based on a board game’ Battleship seem creatively profound.

David (Xavier Samuel) and Mia (Laura Brent, charming despite an unforgivably contrived role) fall in love and get engaged after a whirlwind holiday romance. David returns to London, collects his three best friends, then heads to Australia for the wedding. Jonathan Biggins and Olivia Newton-John star as Mia’s parents while Rebel Wilson occasionally appears as Mia’s lesbian sister.

From most vantage points, A Few Best Men seems like a real movie. It has a “story,” “characters,” and even scenes that superficially appear to contain “jokes,” but many sketches are ultimately just that; sketches that stop short of offering moments of wit. The sight of Olivia Newton John doing cocaine and acting crazy is meant to be funny in and of itself. No jokes necessary. Death At A Funeral writer Dean Craig pillages the exact formula of his earlier screenplay in such a shameless, cut and paste way that, again, just made me feel sad.

The saddest part of watching A Few Best Men is knowing that director Stephan Elliott (Adventures  Of Priscilla, Easy Virtue) can do so much better. One moment in particular involving Steve Le Marquand (the best thing about the film) and the Skippy theme reminded me fondly of Elliot’s much maligned Welcome to Woop Woop. If only more of this picture channelled that kitschy, grotesque quality.

Whilst the film has isolated glimpses of imagination it ultimately left me hollow and depressed. A Few Best Men is not bad enough to actively despise but there’s a stilted, perfunctory sensation in watching this predictable cavalcade of errors play out. By the time I reached the obligatory ‘happily ever after – let’s dance!’ ending I wondered if the preceding 90 minutes ever even happened. A true Zen experience if I ever had one.


A Few Best Men arrives on DVD and Blu-ray May 25, 2012.

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