A Few Best Men Review

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Score

Stephan Elliott's woeful Aussie wedding farce opts for the lowest common denominator at every tediously wacky turn.

If Stephan Elliott's camp class caper Easy Virtue was half as good as his cross-dressing cult hit, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, then this latest, deplorable direcorial effort is half (if not a quarter!) as good again. A Few Best Men doesn't simply feel like a film made by an inept and uninterested debut director, it feels like a film made by someone who has never seen a film – or, indeed met a human being – during their existence on Earth.

Plucky, fresh-faced orphan David (Xavier Samuel) falls head-over-heels in love with Aussie angel Mia (Laura Brent) while cavorting on the beaches of Tuvalu. The pair decide to wed, so David schleps back to London to scoop up his three best men for a quickie ceremony in Australia. Despite David coming across as an affable short of chap, he apparently has selected a trio of complete and utter bastards for his core friendship group.

So there's drunken drama-queen Luke (Tim Draxl) who's girlfriend has dumped him – hilariously! – for  for a man with no penis. Then there's fusty, whining dullard Graham (Kevin Bishop) who – hilariously! – sports a Hitler moustache for the first half of the film and gets stopped in customs with a gimp mask in his luggage. And then, worst of all, is louche, gobby, repellent beanpole and conduit of smug Satanic evil, Tom (Kris Marshall), who appears to gain some kind if sadomasochistic kick out David's prolonged and agonising misery despite being his bessie mate.

At it's very best, A Few Best Men at least demonstrates a passable and ultra-formulaic understanding of the dynamics of the anarchic bedroom farce. Even though each plot tributary is signposted and executed with a total dearth of class and style, Elliot keeps manically lobbing things at the screen in the hope that something will pass muster. Very little does, with the lacklustre highlights including a very game performance from Olivia Newton John as a gak-hoovering matriarch, and a meandering, X-rated best man's speech from a coked-up Graham.

There's a scene near the beginning in which Tom, Graham and Luke head off the beaten track to score some weed for the inevitable stag do. As they descend into the wilderness, Tom – ever the japester – asks if the other two have seen the film Wolf Creek, the 2005 horror saga in which a charismatic bushman captures a group of teenagers and slices them to pieces them in his dingy lock-up.

Even though we're only 15 minutes into the film, had the same brutal tragedy befallen to our plucky wedding party, there's no doubt whatsoever that any cheering would be on the part of the bushman.

Anticipation

Director Stephan Elliott has a nice touch when it comes to light comedy.

3

Enjoyment

Charmless, and then some.

1

In Retrospect

Hateful characters, stupid situations, woeful filmmaking.

1
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