Me Time Review
Me Time premieres Friday, Aug. 26 on Netflix.
Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg star in Netflix's new buddy adventure Me Time, the latest in a long line of "stick-in-the-mud" vs. "way too much" friendship comedies wherein dudes learn to find a comfortable middle ground and not be the absolute worst. Hart and Wahlberg fill the story with high energy and fun performances but the best aspects of the film came from previous movies, including director John Hamburg's own I Love You, Man from 2009.
In the case of Me Time, the reason Hart's Sonny is friendless, or at least hasn't really connected with his childhood friend Huck Dembo (Wahlberg, with a superb doltish movie name) in over a decade, is because he's rigidly dedicated himself to being a househusband and helicopter father after starting his own family. It's a different type of self-dug hole in that regard as the film, clumsily for the most part, addressees the issue of giving away too much of yourself for fear that you have no value outside of acts of service. It's a noble theme, though Me Time is mostly about the tropes that come with this genre of comedy.
Me Time Photos
The more cut-and-paste elements of Me Time include obligatory animal hi-jinx (which cause injury to both people and the animals), a required music superstar cameo (including a performance), computer-generated shenanigans, an alarming maiming that's more gruesome than funny, an older character who's uncomfortably horny, misunderstandings that lead to vandalism, and several other clutch cliches that only serve to deaden the film a little. What works best are some of the actual lines and exchanges that capitalize on Hart and Wahlberg's fast-talking chemistry.
Me Time isn't without laughs, it's just kind of an inorganic pile-on. Regina Hall plays Sonny's successful architect wife, Maya, who's nicely treated like a full third here given that Maya also has a work/life balance in need of tweaking. The most underdeveloped of the three, actually, is Wahlberg's Huck, whose man-child catharsis at the end happens too speedily as the movie tidily figures out that everyone can have everything they want in terms of family and career.
The main focus is on Sonny's life crisis and how it's affecting his family but it would have been nice to see Huck get more time in the spotlight. There's only one scene with him sans Sonny and it goes by in a blink.
After being teased at work (which is over-volunteering at his kids' school) and embarrassed in front of Maya's top client, Armando (Luis Gerardo Méndez, who Sonny is convinced is trying to woo his wife), Sonny is talked into spending Spring Break by himself while Maya attempts to fill his shoes with their children on vacation. It isn't long before Sonny decides to have a reunion with Huck for his former best bud's birthday bash in the desert.
It's here, in Me Time's second act, that Hart's unique timidity and Wahlberg's dopey enthusiasm shine the brightest. It takes a while to get there (there are some first act school colleague exchanges that could have been trimmed) but once these two actually share the screen it's a much sillier and more engaging story. The promise/premise of the movie is these two and their scenes get held back to an odd degree.
Me Time has a strong core cast and some distinctive moments of levity (especially when involving an Uber driver played by Ilia Isorelýs Paulino) but there's very little that's fresh here. That said, if you're into watching Hart and Wahlberg play into their strengths as comedic performers, not really straying out of any comfort zone, then Me Time might make for a fine hyperactive distraction.
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This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Matt Fowler