Movie Review by Neil Sadler
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Amy Smart, Seth Green, Kate Ashfield, Jodhi May
Director: Stefan Schwartz
THE BEST MAN is a romantic comedy set around a wedding – and its British. Not the most staggeringly original of ideas and I’m afraid none of the other ideas are particularly original either.
Stuart Townsend plays a failed writer, living with a comedy best friend (Seth Green with a British accent). When an old friend asks him to be best man, mainly because said friend has no one else to ask, you know it is only a matter of time before he falls for the bride-to-be and attempts winning her. I’m sure too it doesn’t give too much away to say he succeeds.
All the usual plot devices are here from nominally funny group of friends, a sub-plot that seems to have nothing to do with the main story but then does. This sub-plot even includes Anna Chancellor (Duckface from FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) just to make the point that this desperately wants to be that film. But it only highlights that it isn’t. Even Peter Capaldi, a fine actor in his own right, plays a pale imitation of Rowan Atkinson’s “funny vicar.”
Townsend makes a likeable hero but he doesn’t have Hugh Grant’s knack for self-depreciation. Amy Smart makes an intelligent love interest but you never quite believe she would fall for Steve John Shepherd’s sleazy villain.
What makes a good romantic comedy is not the outcome but the path it takes – and how funny it is. Unfortunately although it has its moments, THE BEST MAN never raises its game. It is amusing rather than funny. If you love your rom-coms, you’ll be entertained, but its not going to win any converts to the genre.