By Valerie Complex
Associate Editor/Film Writer
Me Time, directed and written by John Hamburg (Meet the Parents), pairs Hollywood powerhouses Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg in a chemistry-free friendship full of slapstick comedy and high jinks. Hamburg is known for his comedic work. The same goes for Hart and Wahlberg, but the three combined created something full of hot air. Regina Hall also stars in the film and is relegated to the background as the nagging significant other. It’s actually impressive how unfunny this film is and that one must sit through every painful moment until the credits roll.
The movie, which debuts on Netflix on Friday, opens with Sonny Fisher (Hart) and Huck Dembo (Wahlberg) celebrating the latter’s 29th birthday in Moab, Utah. As expected, something wacky happens to Sonny, thus setting the tone for their friendship. Fast forward 15 years later, and Sonny is now a househusband who cooks, cleans and is president of the PTA. His wife, Maya (Hall), works as an architect and is the family’s breadwinner. Huck is having another birthday gathering as he turns 44 and still hangs with people in their 20s. Sonny doesn’t want to go because he is a family man now. However, everyone around him sees that he needs a break because he doesn’t have a life outside his family.
Maya decides to leave him home alone while she takes the kids on vacation and encourages him to enjoy life. He goes to the golf course, out to eat with friends, and to the strip club, but he’s not satisfied. When he finally links up with Huck, Sonny decides to join the birthday celebration. Huck hasn’t been truthful, though: He’s having money problems and has dangerous people trailing him. After being so cavalier about his party lifestyle and frivolous money spending, he brought it on himself. This is when Sonny finds that the party life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Me Time is one of those coming-of-age stories for middle-aged men. Sonny doesn’t know who he is outside the family, so he begins to explore what that might be. He embarks on a journey of discovery that should be hilarious but instead is the same old shtick we’ve seen repeatedly from Hart and Wahlberg. There are a few funny moments, but it all feels like déjà vu — you’ve seen these same performances elsewhere in another movie, and it leaves Me Time feeling unremarkable. There is no substance, just vibes, and it wouldn’t be such a chore if the movie was fun. Sure, there is something to be said about the film’s overall theme of not judging a book by its cover or how one doesn’t have to look far for happiness, but it’s buried under outdated gags and fart jokes.
Look, I don’t walk into Kevin Hart films expecting anything serious, but would have liked to laugh once or twice. With Hamburg’s script and the flimsy performances from the main cast, Me Time is another film existing in the Hollywood vacuum soon to be forgotten. It’s pretentious, dry, and it’s 1-hour and 44-minutes of “me time” I can’t get back.
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