A Few Best Men (2012) – Australia / UK

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 12th January 2013
Reviewed as part of Film Critic Circle of Australia Awards Nomination 2012

Australian Box Office Takings: AU$5,041,931

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Director: Stephan Elliott
Writer: Dean Craig
Stars: Laura Brent, Xavier Samuel and Kris Marshall

What I look for in comedies are plenty of laughters, lots of laugh out loud moments and essentially a film that is funny right from the get go. It is good news to announce that “A Few Best Men” delivers exactly and in doing so, it even manages to converge both British and Australian humour packaged into a highly hilarious film. Sure, the film takes plenty of situation comic moments from a much bigger film (“Hangover”) including the use of a certain animal as a central gag and a group guys going crazy before a wedding. However, “A Few Best Men” manages to stay fresh, wonderful comic timing and chemistry between British and Australian co-stars and a beautiful landscape of the very best shots of Blue Mountain that one will possibly ever see. Director Stephan Elliott should be proud of this achievement as this is most certainly a massive fun ride.

Xavier Samuel headlines the film as the Britsh guy about to marry his Australian sweetheart (played by Laura Brent). Samuel manages to put in an efficient performance and carries the film like a rock. However, Samuel is easily upstaged by his comic counterparts namely Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop, In fact, it is Marshall and Bishop combo of comic antics that drives the film forward and providing the audience with plenty to laugh about. Laura Brent who plays the bride to be, is beautiful to look at, without adding much to her role. While, Jonathan Biggins is stoically funny as the retiring senator and father of the bride. As for the much missed, Olivia Newton-John who plays the mother of the bride, simply oozes with screen presences and is always a joy to watch. However, the highlight moment of the film comes in the form of a hilarious extended cameo from Steve Le Marquand whose drug dealer role simply steals the show with an over-the top performance.

All in all, “A Few Best Men” is unlikely to win any awards, but in terms of pure entertainment value, it scores highly by being outright funny. Despite the not being original in its approach to things, the film still manages to have one gag after another. What I truly enjoyed about this film, is its ability to be predictable and hilarious at the same time. Surprisingly for a comedy, “A Few Best Men” at times stunning to look at, this is especially evident the final scenes of the film, where the romantic pair lock lips within the exhilarating backdrop of the vast Blue Mountain. Sure, “A Few Best Men” may not be entirely memorable or worth remembering after the credit ends, but for its entire duration, it is really 90 minutes of fun. Then again, the film is probably funnier if you are either British or Australian. Now let’s insert a ram joke! (Neo 2013)

I rated it 7/10

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