We can do a lot better than the predictable raunch-com Someone Marry Barry, whose NR rating never matches its potential.
Someone Marry Barry is the kind of raunch-com which Hollywood happily produces in spades each year; but unlike This is 40, Knocked Up, or 21 and Over, this one isn't quite ready for prime time. Too short and yet feeling way too long, it sports pleasing pieces that ultimately don't fit its lesser ones.
The socially-inappropriate Barry (Tyler Labine) can neither seem to keep his mouth shut nor his pants on, which forces his long-time friends Desmond (Damon Wayans Jr.), Rafe (Hayes MacArthur) and Kurt (Thomas Middleditch) to seek a woman who won't yak at the site or smell of him. They encourage Barry to speed date and even pitch in for a mail-order bride, until a chance meeting with Mel (Lucy Punch) during a botched dinner date brings the foul-mouthed duo together. Instead of landing someone to calm him down, dating Mel makes Barry much worse. No subject is apparently off limits - including her yeast infection and his penchant for unfiltered comments at the wrong times - and their exchange of saliva and farts soon causes havoc with Barry's friends. After a fire wrecks Kurt's family cabin, the two break up and his friends disown him, leading the portly lad to decide if the choices one makes can be corrected, or if he's better off eating week-old take out alone.
We really can't spoil this movie because everything feels so familiar: the first act is inappropriate and borderline Hangover material, followed by a second act that sees our characters go through some sort of difficulty, and ending with the now super-serious main character having to fix his broken relationship(s). This tired format doesn't break any new ground, content to mirror better products while breaking down the thin layer of respect we had granted it. The problem here is Director/Writer Rob Pearlstein, who makes three important mistakes: he fills important roles with subpar talent, while his script sadly separates the two best parts of the film - Labine and Punch - for far too long. By the time they're thrust back together, we couldn't care less if they repair their relationship or the Shakespeare crowd gathered to watch their Mea Culpa accidentally connects with a lucky punch or hatefully-hurled fruit. But Barry's failure to translate its NR rating into something truly groundbreaking is perhaps Pearlstein's worst sin. It's not like we expected over-the-top raunch and gratuitous full frontal, but its material is decidedly...mellow considering what's been produced over the past 5 years. While Pearlstein can direct and light a scene quite well, his chances of landing future stardom will depend entirely on whether he happens to stumble upon Zach Galifianakis or Paul Rudd over dinner.
A lot of critics are correctly drawing comparisons between Barry and the films of Judd Apatow. If that sort of comedic formula - in which you can see the shtick and the super-serious ending a mile away - is in your circle, then we think you'll tolerate it. Labine and Punch are funny, but the rest of the troupe are not; it's clear our leads are worthy of better, and let's hope they get that chance soon in a real vehicle. For now, we can't recommend Barry unless you have laundry to fold or some other house chores that are more boring than watching this predictable raunch-com. Someone Marry Barry is surprisingly unrated and has a runtime of 87 minutes.
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