COMEDY; 1hr 41min
STARRING: Josh Gad, Kevin Hart, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting
Marriage of convenience: Gad (left) and Hart
Leapfrog over plot holes for a minute and imagine that you’re a friendless groom-to-be (Gad as Doug), so frantic to impress your blithely ignorant fiancée (Cuoco-Sweeting as Gretchen) that you resort to hiring a professional best man (Hart as Jimmy) and a shonky posse of groomsmen to pose as the BFFs you never had. Not only has Gretchen never met these people — well, of course she hasn’t but shouldn’t that ring some bells? — yet in this glorious age of shake-bake connectivity, it never occurs to her to Google-trawl and blow the roof off the whole house of cards.
Just as well she doesn’t because Jimmy, recast by Doug as military priest Bic Mitchum, moves a range of mountains to prep for the big day: The tiny dynamo and his ring-in boys create fictional histories with a crackpot dedication that director and co-writer Jeremy Garelick pumps to full speed ahead without missing a boffo beat. Closely examined, the subtext — of a lonely guy turning to bought-and-paid-for “friendships” while lying through his teeth all the way to the altar — is a downer and a shame. But in these fizzy waters, even the heaviest burdens bob triumphantly to the surface.