Kevin Hart & Josh Gad Talk The Wedding Ringer

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Wedding Ringer’ is a surprisingly sweet bromance.

Sluggish, winter-weary moviegoers might look at Kevin Hart and think, “I’ll have what he’s having,” if it guarantees that same elevated energy. The first version of the script for ”The Wedding Ringer,” a new comedy about a friendless schlub who rents a best man for his big day, was written back in 2002 – a fact that partly accounts for the whiff of stale leftovers that hangs over the movie from start to finish.

“The Wedding Ringer” is “Wedding Crashers Redux,” a “Hangover Lite” that softens manic funny man Kevin Hart’s persona into something more sentimental than abrasive.[(L to R) Reggie (Affion Crockett), Kip (Alan Ritchson) , Lurch (Jorge Garcia), Bronstein “Dan Gill”, Jimmy (Kevin Hart), Doug (Josh Gad), Endo (Aaron Takahashi), and Fitzgibbons (Colin Kane) in Screen Gems’ THE WEDDING RINGER.]] (L to R) Reggie (Affiom Crockett), Kip (Alan Ritchson) , Lurch (Jorge Garcia), Bronstein “Dan Gill”, Jimmy (Kevin Hart), Doug (Josh Gad), Endo (Aaron Takahashi), and Fitzgibbons (Colin Kane) in Screen Gems’ THE WEDDING RINGER.

Last week alone, he attended the Golden Globes with fiancee Eniko Parrish and presented an award with Salma Hayek, promoted “The Wedding Ringer,” which opened in theaters Friday, went to New York to host “Saturday Night Live” and prepared for four shows at Heinz Hall tonight and Monday as part of a world tour. “I’m a health nut. In December, a leaked email thread revealed that he’d allegedly asked to be paid additional money beyond his $3 million salary to tweet about an upcoming movie; “I’m not saying he’s a whore,” a studio exec reportedly wrote, “but he’s a whore.” (“Knowing your self worth is extremely important,” Hart wrote on Instagram after the email was published. “I OWN MY BRAND….I MAKE SMART DECISIONS FOR MY BRAND.”) The jokes he made while presenting at last week’s Golden Globes—one about how animated filmmakers have imaginations “fueled by weed,” one about how he wasn’t going to promote his new movie from the stage…before he promoted his new movie from the stage—both bombed, loudly. Several films have indeed been there, done that – or variations of that – in the 12 years since, including ”Bridesmaids” and ”The Hangover,” which all but redefined the pre-marriage debauchery sub-genre. And the aforementioned movie, which Hart will undoubtedly promote early and often on Saturday Night Live as well, is earning dismal reviews and less than impressive box office—especially compared to the comedian’s last January release. (Ride Along made $14.4 million on Jan. 17 alone last year; it earned $41.5 million its first weekend in total, making it the strongest January opening ever until the blockbuster success of this weekend’s American Sniper. He doesn’t have a best man! “And the coolest thing about watching this movie with audiences is they are dying, they are laughing so hard, but you also get a sense of audiences that they feel for these guys, they care about these guys and their rooting for these guys,” said Gad. “Yes!

I remember as a baby, about two hours old, going “Waagggaaah” into the microphone and everyone was on the floor laughing and that’s when I knew,” said Hart. I’m putting a nice little demand on my body so I need to take care of it and because of my work load, if I’m not refreshed, if I’m not in good condition or good shape, then you’re looking at a lethargic individual and that doesn’t help. … “I need to be upbeat,” he said, “because that’s who I am.

Martin Luther King Day and Selma‘s Oscar snubs are topics that are both ripe for Hart and the show’s cast to dissect—especially, perhaps, Leslie Jones, who also appears with Hart in Chris Rock’s film Top Five. I don’t want to be a bad representation of myself,” he added in a phone call in December, talking at his normally fast clip. “I’m not a gimmick, I’m not a character,” he said. “I pride myself on being myself. When my supporters or fans see me and they want that moment, they want that personal moment, I give it to them because at the end of the day that goes a long way. Soon enough, he’s employing professional best man Jimmy Callahan (Hart) and a rag-tag team of groomsmen, each of whom is an ostensibly yuk-worthy ”type”: the Fat Guy (played by Jorge Garcia of ”Lost” fame), the Asian (Aaron Takahashi), the Redneck, the Beefcake (with a stutter – even funnier!), etc., etc.

As Doug and his homies-for-hire get acquainted, we’re treated to a variety of gags, including a boy getting hit in the gut with a baseball and a man breaking his own arm for show, as well as jokes about rape, child molestation and testicular deformities. Tonight’s guest is “Chandelier” chanteuse Sia—a singer/songwriter who’s taken to hiding her face in public in recent years. (Even though, er, it’s not that hard to find out what she actually looks like.) Gimmicky as that may be, her camera-shyness leads to visually-striking live performances—and we know already that tonight’s will feature Maddie Ziegler, the pint-sized Mini-Sia who’s performed as the singer’s avatar in her “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” videos. Even a bachelor party set piece in which the term ”service dog” is given stomach-turning new meaning (peanut butter lovers, be warned) feels half-hearted and half-thought-out; you giggle because of the situation’s bullying perversity, not because the execution is actually funny.

Gad, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate who spoke for Olaf in “Frozen” and earned a 2011 Tony Award nomination for “The Book of Mormon.” “We hit it off from the jump. Joining Hart and Gad in this laugh-out-loud comedy are Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting as Doug’s bride-to-be, the spoiled Gretchen Palmer, Ken Howard, Cloris Leachman, Jenifer Lewis, Mimi Rogers and Olivia Thirlby. Gad (who played a sex addict in ”Thanks for Sharing”) isn’t given much to do except look dim and dejected, the neutered straight man to Hart’s neutered real-life cartoon.

Jimmy proceeds to hire a motley crew that includes a stammering stripper, an ex-con, a TSA agent (Affion Crockett) and a Roto-Rooter man (Jorge Garcia). He came to work prepared every day and had so many different levels in his performance that I had to make sure that I was doing what I was supposed to. The rather obvious lesson here is that in the age of Judd Apatow and smarter raunch, it takes more than fat dudes, penis jokes and dogs with wandering tongues to make us guffaw in spite of ourselves. I wanted to see if I could literally get along with this guy and have a conversation because when you’re working these long hours — 14-, 15-hour days — if you’re not getting along with somebody, those days can become treacherous.” That led to a meeting about the script, a decision to do the movie with director and co-writer Jeremy Garelick (who naturally welcomed ad-libbing from his stars) and a friendship with Mr.

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