Studio script readers seemingly require three in-trays on their desks these days: one for superhero movies, one for wedding comedies, and one for everything else. Lukewarm on the heels of ‘The Wedding Video’ comes this entry from the bottom end of the middle pile. Stephan Elliott’s Down Under farce makes no secret of its debt to ‘The Hangover’, aiming to extend that film’s laddish colonisation of a genre once seen as a secure chick-flick stronghold. With its most extravagant gags revolving around sheep in drag and Olivia Newton-John on coke, however, the infrequently uproarious results are more of an acquired taste.
When mild-mannered Londoner David (Xavier Samuel) proposes to wealthy Aussie Mia (Laura Brent) after a whirlwind holiday romance, his best friends back home – obnoxious player Tom (a game Kris Marshall, liberated from those ghastly BT ads), socially awkward Graham (Kevin Bishop and lovelorn depressive Luke (Tim Draxl) – sceptically agree to act as groomsmen at the lavish outback nuptials. The bumbling Brits almost immediately run afoul of Mia’s pushy politico dad (Jonathan Biggins) and prissy mum (Newton-John, having by far the most fun here), and that’s before they begin lowering the tone with drunken car accidents, scorned drug dealers and gimp masks.
Frivolous stuff, but there’s a sour edge to the silliness, with far more gay panic colouring the jokes than you’d expect from the director of ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.’ The presence of ‘Bridesmaids’ star Rebel Wilson, meanwhile, only serves to underline how much sharper (and smuttier) that particular wed-com was: ladies, the floor is still yours.