At some point in the near future, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kevin Hart surprise us with a dramatic performance. Known mostly for his comedic routines, I’d expect Hart to follow a long line of funnymen who eventually took on dramatic roles, even if only to show how wide their talents stretch. And often, when that happens, critical praise follows, especially if the performance is surprisingly solid. Just ask Steve Carell most recently, whose dramatic turn in “Foxcatcher” (an awards season contender) is enjoying plenty of critical buzz, as he finds himself in Academy Awards consideration conversations.
Or maybe Hart is comfortable exactly where he is, and has no plans to switch gears, even for a movie or two.
It would still be something I’d watch for, especially if audiences start to lose interest in his comedy shtick, and his box office appeal sees a dwindling over time. But he’s young, and has a long career ahead of him, if he plays his cards right, anyway.
This new year in black cinema kicks of on January 16, 2015, with “The Wedding Ringer” – just one of a handful of projects on Kevin Hart’s slate, with highlights that include co-starring with Will Ferrell in a comedy titled “Get Hard,” a sequel to the immensely successful “Ride Along,” his plans to launch a new 24-hour comedy network later this year, and more.
Hart is maybe one of the busiest, and most in-demand actors/comedians working right now. I’ve lost count of the number of projects he’s been attached to since the break-out success his stand-up comedy concert “Laugh At My Pain” 3 years ago, which did some impressive damage at the box office, for a film of its ilk, and was followed by a successful sequel.
Last year, he starred alongside veterans Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone in a film called “Grudge Match;” a remake of the 1986 rom-com “About Last Night” starring with Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant and Regina Hall; the aforementioned “Ride Along,” with Ice Cube; and, on the small screen, in BET’s hit series “Real Husbands Of Hollywood.”
He’s in that rare position that makes him a bankable actor, as studios want to be in the Kevin Hart business.
In “The Wedding Ringer” he co-stars with Josh Gad; it’s a comedy from Screen Gems/Miramax, and first-time helmer Jeremy Garelick, and produced by Will Packer.
Hart plays a charismatic guy who provides best man services for socially-challenged guys, who can’t get anyone to stand by them on their wedding days.
Gad plays a groom-to-be, who finds himself in need of Hart’s services. Of course, all doesn’t work out exactly as planned, as hijinx and hilarity ensue.
I can’t help but be reminded of Will Smith in “Hitch.”
Supporting cast includes Affion Crockett, Jenifer Lewis, Corey Holcomb, Kaley Cuoco, Jorge Garcia, Dan Gill, Corey Holcomb, Ken Howard, Colin Kane, Cloris Leachman, Alan Ritchson, Mimi Rogers, Ignacio Serricchio, Aaron Takahashi, Olivia Thirlby and Nicky Whelan.
Jeremy Garelick directed from a screenplay he penned with Jay Lavender.
Continuing with its marketing campaign, the film’s 2 stars appear in the below parody of maybe the most popular scene from “Jerry Maguire” – specifically, the “show me the money” scene that helped Cuba Gooding Jr win his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1997.