August 26th, 2022
MOVIE: ME TIME
STARRING: KEVIN HART, MARK WAHLBERG, REGINA HALL, JOHN AMOS
DIRECTED BY: JOHN HAMBURG
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 1 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
Similar to a few weeks ago in Jo Koy’s Easter Sunday, the newest Netflix comedy Me Time is also a sad representation on the state of comedy cinema. The pairing of Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg is the kind of team-up that was inevitable. It was only a matter of time. The two celebrities are an easy match, judging by their previous co-stars, from Dwayne Johnson, Will Ferrell, or Tiffany Haddish, the combo of tough guy and comedian is a fall back for them. The problem with this, however, is that the formula is played out and although the potential of Me Time seemed promising, it unfortunately settles in for little laughs and predictable hijinx. All I know is that you would be better off spending time alone than spending your time with Me Time.
Kevin Hart is stay at home dad Sonny Fisher, always on top of his fatherly duties, prepping meals for his two kids- Ava (Amentii Sledge) and Dash (Che Tafari), reminding them of their homework, and driving them to school while he takes a back seat to his incredibly successful interior designer wife Maya (Regina Hall). Before life became about lunches and PTA meetings, Sonny spent his free time with best friend Huck (Wahlberg), who brought out the wild man when they hung together, doing base jumping, and always up for a good time. Now they’ve grown apart but since Maya feels a need to get closer to her kids, she gives Sonny a week of free Me Time, and the hope is that Sonny will loosen up, and get back to being the fun guy he used to be.
The writer and director of Me Time is John Hamburg, who has a hit and miss record with his comedies, which include Along Came Polly, I Love You, Man, and recently Why Him?. Like his previous works, Me Time is not without a few laughs, including a scene involving Hart fighting off a CGI mountain lion. Sadly, those moments are too few, and the majority of the jokes fail to land. It’s not a great sign when the funniest performance comes from an Uber driver- played by Ilia Isorelys Paulino- and the narrative becomes a repeating sequence of Hart and Wahlberg panicking, and a mixture of montages of the two having fun.
I also go back to the way comedies are produced today. There’s too much sheen on these productions, a coating of product placement paint, and freshly staged scenes that double as vacation spots. It’s not that a movie such as Step Brothers was Blazing Saddles, but there’s never an honest step in films like this, making a movie for the laughs and not for the paycheck. For Wahlberg and Hart this is nothing, doing their standard minimum of comedy acting, and enjoying themselves along the way. Large segments of Me Time reminded me of bad Adam Sandler comedies such as the Ridiculous 6, only without as many friends involved.
At the end, Me Time is a harmless comedy, but the problems stack up quickly. The jokes fail to elicit laughs, the plot runs much too long, and the biggest sin is the wasted use of Regina Hall. There also seems to be a hint that Hart and Wahlberg are too timid, afraid to fracture their images, so the laughs often stay PG-13 instead of a needed hard R. Me Time had me longing for the wild approach of a comedy like The Hangover or even the chemistry we get in The Lost City. Instead, we get to spend time with Me Time and frankly, that’s just not enough.
ME TIME IS PLAYING FRIDAY AUGUST 26TH, 2022 ON NETFLIX.
1 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady