A Few Best Men (1 star)

A Few Best Men

Risible UK/Australian comedy rife with missed opportunities

David (the improbably named Xavier Samuel) returns to London following a backpacking jaunt down under. It’s only temporary though – while abroad he met the love of his life, Mia (Laura Brent), and impulsively proposed to her. He’s come back to ask his three best friends – cheeky Tom (Kris Marshall), geeky Graham (Kevin Bishop) and lovelorn Luke (Tim Draxl) if they’ll come to Oz with him to help celebrate his wedding. This being a comedy in the Hangover mould, things don't go according to plan.

A Few Best Men is an out-and-out failure. There’s no chemistry between David and Mia (or between David and his supposedly lifelong mates, for that matter); the jokes are predictably geared towards the gross-out end of the scale; even the lighting and sound are sketchy, looking suspiciously stagey for a film set in the great Australian outdoors. Most of the comedy is wrung out of squirmy awkwardness, but with no likeable characters at the heart of it (and no gags to back it up), the cringing simply becomes interminably excruciating.

There are a few potential points of interest in Dean Craig’s script, but none are handled with any depth. David is frequently referred to as an orphan (often in an uncomfortably insensitive, off-hand manner), with his three inept friends the only thing he has resembling a family; rather than inject the film with some substance, though, David’s orphanhood is either glibly dismissed for cheap laughs or clumsily paraded around in a poor attempt at emotional content.

‘This is supposed to be the most memorable day of my life,’ whines David at one point. For the sake of everyone involved (including the audience), we hope he’s wrong.

General release from Fri 31 Aug.

A Few Best Men (Trailer)

A Few Best Men

  • 1 star
  • 2011
  • Australia / UK
  • 1h 36min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Stephan Elliott
  • Written by: Dean Craig
  • Cast: Rebel Wilson, Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton-John
  • UK release: 31 August 2012

David (Samuel) comes back from Australia after impulsively proposing to Mia (Brent); hi-jinks supposedly ensue when he asks his best mates to accompany him back to Oz for the wedding. What with dislikeable characters, stale gags, inept production and a complete lack of chemistry between the main couple, it's an…