According to Netflix, Best Men is an “off-the-wall comedy.” Also, a “romantic comedy.” Also, “romantic.” These are all lies.
In fact, until the unlikely event that I review Kill Bill, this movie will almost definitely have the highest body count of any wedding movie I cover on my blog.
Best Men begins with a motley crew of groomsmen picking up the groom on his wedding day. They pick him up from state prison, from which he’s just been released. [I think he was in prison for stealing the engagement ring, but I might have made that up.]
On the way to the church, one groomsman asks to make a stop. This vital, wedding schedule threatening errand? A bank robbery.
Which becomes a hostage situation, for reasons I can’t really sort out aside from “that is what happened in Dog Day Afternoon.” The other groomsman and the groom himself all get mixed up in it, somehow. Maybe because there were enough handguns to go around, so they say, “why not?” Actually, the groom is on his third strike, and therefore none too pleased about being roped into this crime. Plus the whole thing where he is missing his wedding for this.
Luckily for our Repeat Offender Groom, the bride charges her way through the police barricade, kicking cops in the groin with the Doc Martens she’s wearing under her bridal gown. Then they invite a priest to perform the ceremony in the bank lobby.
I can see how this plot could be a comedy. Sometimes I thought that the movie was actually trying to be a comedy. When the priest comes in to perform the ceremony, he tells the groomsmen to bow their heads because they’re “in the house of the lord.” There is banter about how they’re actually in a bank. Is this an attempt at comedy? That priest, so rigid as to expect solemnity and respect for god at a wedding conducted in the middle of a hostage situation, reprimanding a row of groomsmen packing heat for not bowing their heads in prayer! Ha ha? Right? I mean, they’re trying to make me laugh at least, right?
Nope: it is set up for the priest pulling his own gun out of a hollowed-out bible, and then shooting a few groomsmen. This is just the start of the bloodshed.
Before the movie ends, Sean Patrick Flannery delivers the entire “to be or not to be” soliloquy, sincerely, as he actually considers whether he’s ready to die in a hail of law enforcement gunfire. Wedding movie? Where did you go? Come back, wedding movie!
Best Men is not a comedy, off or on the wall. Dog Day Afternoon, the movie Best Men wants to be when it grows up, is closer to comedy, and Netflix calls that one a “gritty crime drama.”
But it is still a wedding movie, and valuable study material for me, for one reason: upon arriving at the scene, the bride says, “I was sure I’d run down every possible scenario of everything that could have gone wrong today, but this one wins the prize.” First, I won’t be making that mistake. I now know that a bank robbery hostage scenario is a contingency I should plan for on my wedding day. Second, when things do go wrong on my wedding day, as long as these mishaps fall short of federal crimes and gunfire, I will feel a little more at ease.