Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Few Best Men - Australia's Version of The Hangover

you can tell they mean trouble because one of them is already drinking out of the bottle.

Tonight, I went to a screening of Stephan Elliot's new film A Few Best Men (2012). Lest you forget, he directed the comically brilliant Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), and we haven't really heard from him since, unless you were one of the 5 people that saw Easy Virtue (2008). The director introduced the film by saying that it had all three 'B's'...bestiality, blow, and bum-fucking. So I was in for a treat. Usually that kind of college-humor gives me a good chuckle, as it did with this, but I couldn't help thinking how this film was pretty much Australia's version of The Hangover (2009). It involves a group of British boys that come to Australia to marry off one of their mates to an Aussie daughter of a senator. It's virtually identical to the instant classic from two years ago, except the jokes were re-written for an Australian/British sensibility and sense of humor, just didn't work.
Xavier Samuel plays the British version of Justin Bartha, a boyishly handsome unfortunate who desperately wants to get married to the girl of his dreams, even though ridiculous circumstances seem to constantly get in his way, hissy fits and comically overdone sunburn included. Character actor and British goof ball with a dangerous side Kris Marshall is Bradley Cooper's counterpart; he's too cool for school, taller and cuter than every one else and always seems to have his shit under control. Then there's the chubby trouble maker-awkward-creepy-in-an-endearing-way scene stealing character originated by the incomparable Zach Galifianakis, played in this version by Kevin Bishop, not nearly as precociously nor amusingly. But I guess fat people getting into improbable shenanigans is funny in all countries. Instead of having a certain amount of time to get a tiger back to Mike Tyson's mansion, the group of rag tag drunks, coke heads, and sexually frustrated misfits has only a certain amount of time to get a prized ram back to it's stable house and get the lipstick of it...long story...and really not too interesting.
There's a lot of bare asses, shit jokes, and excessive and unrealistic drug consumption...oh and Olivia Newton-John is there too, but sadly all of these elements fell flat on their face. I'm not one who cringes easily but my dinner was slowly and gradually making it's way up my wind pipe. I was more frustrated than anything, because I hate it when a film promises dirty jokes and doesn't deliver. There's only so much of a man sticking his full arm up a sheep's ass I can stomach. I think this film tried to be raunchier than The Hangover but it fell short ironically. Mishaps at weddings are a great sub-genre, but the mother of the bride getting loaded on cocaine and hitting on the groom is small beans next to the wedding band playing 'candy shop' in their most disgusting undertones with a jazz beat.
There is of course the element of the crazed up drug dealer from whom the protagonists have stolen who chases them down through the film, and in this case, no one one-ups Ken Jeong. So i'll just leave it at that. See it if you must, but I wasn't crazy about it, it was pretty predictable, and filth wise, it was a bore.

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