The Wednesday Review – A few best men
Xavier Samuel as David Locking
Laura Brent as Mia Ramme
Olivia Newton-John as Barbra Ramme
Jonathan Biggins as Jim Ramme
Kris Marshall as Tom
Written by Dean Craig and directed by Stephan Elliott
The root of Australian comedies has always seemed to me to stem from familiarity. Our comedy heroes are generally the “battler” whose charm and wit comes from his or her surrounding that us as Australians are intimately familiar with. Even going so far back as Barry Mackensie you can see how the Aussie comedy icon is very much supposed to embody Australia.
The problem is that this is simply not marketable. Sure films like The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding and even the Wog Boy to name some contemporary ones have done well and are even critically and culturally acclaimed but overseas their marketability is rather low.
There of course is one Australian comedy that everyone knows and did remarkably well overseas and that is Crocodile Dundee. The thing about Dundee however is that the marjority of the film isnt even set in Australia. It is actually a fish out of water story and well, that works just about anywhere.
This is where A few best men come into it as at its heard, A few best men is not an Australian comedy despite being financed by Australian film and directed by Stephan Elliot of Pricilla fame. Written by Dean Craig the film is decidedly a British take on the ensemble friend comedy and with some Australian humour thrown in here and there. This is actually a rather smart move by the film makers as by effectively creating a British comedy in Australia they can capture both markets well.
The plot of the story consists of four friends making their way to the Blue Mountains for the wedding of David and naturally hijinks ensue involving a prize sheep, a drug dealer with parent issues and a politically obsessed father in law.
It would be unfair to say that A few best men is derivative as it is certainly a funny and well made movie. It is however fairly formulaic and predictable with scenes and ideas very much there only to set up a joke later in the movie that you can see a mile off.
Fortunately the ensemble cast are all very good with the stand out being Kris Marshall who you may remember from a slightly similar film called Death at a Funeral. Props must be given to Olivia Newton John who is actually quite funny in her role as a fed up political wife.
Overall A few best men is decently funny, if highly predictable, movie that is guaranteed to get you laughing. Being a film that is largely Australian in funding and production I would probably recommend it on that basis alone as promoting our film industry is important so you might as well do it in exchange for a laugh.
A few best men gets a solid three prize rams out of five for me. A perfectly good comedy but not one that you will be quoting for years to come.