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The inspired comic talents of Tyler Labine and Lucy Punch nearly, if not quite, manage to elevate Rob Pearlstein’s determinedly raunchy rom-com about three friends desperately attempting to marry off the titular character (Labine) who they appropriately dub “the inappropriate one.” While Someone Marry Barry ultimately doesn’t live up to its Judd Apatow-style aspirations, its two leads are so charmingly obnoxious that some genuine laughs are delivered along the way.
The film’s opening sequences well demonstrate the reasons for the displeasure felt by single dad Rafe (Hayes MacArthur), married Desmond (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Kurt (Thomas Middleditch), who’s planning on proposing to his beautiful girlfriend Camille (Frances Shaw). In short order, the perennially boorish Barry ruins the funeral of Rafe’s father by delivering a wildly appropriate eulogy; gets Desmond fired by making lewd comments about his boss’ daughter; and derails Kurt’s marriage proposal by being caught masturbating to a photo of his intended fiancé.
The solution they devise, of the sort to be found only in hopelessly contrived comedies, is to find Barry a wife so he’ll leave them alone. Not surprisingly, their attempts, which include arranging for a mail-order bride and a speed dating session in which Barry rudely insults each woman he meets, all end in disaster.
That is, until Barry meets Mel (Punch) after each of them have been dumped by their respective dates at a restaurant (Ed Helms has a funny cameo). Sharing a cab together, the two discover that they’re on exactly on the same vulgar page, bonding over such commonalities as their mutual fondness for farting.
Unfortunately for his pals, Barry and Mel together are much worse than the sum of their immature parts, as evidenced by a shared weekend getaway that the pair manages to totally ruin. The resulting angry confrontation creates a rift between the two previously deliriously happy lovers, with Barry inevitably learning the error of his ways and desperately attempting to win Mel back.
Pearlstein’s screenplay is strictly formulaic, getting especially bogged down when it turns sentimental. But Labine and Punch invest their performances with enough anarchic comic inventiveness and genuine chemistry to make their characters’ courtship and relationship issues funnily entertaining. They — even more than Barry and Mel — seem utterly made for each other.
Production: Madrose Productions, Straight Up Films
Cast: Tyler Labine, Damon Wayans Jr., Lucy Punch, Hayes MacArthur, Thomas Middledeitch, Amanda Lund, Frances Shaw, Wyatt Oleff
Director/screenwriter: Rob Pearlstein
Producers: Kate Cohen, Barry Josephson, Rob Pearlstein, Marisa Polvino
Executive producers: Jeremy Bailer, William Gheen, Peggy Lee Miller, Marc H. Simon, Alexander F. Young
Director of photography: Marten Tedin
Editor: Justin Bourret
Production designer: Lauren Fitzsimmons
Costume designer: Debra McGuire
Composer: Joey Katsaros
Not rated, 87 min.
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