There’s an argument to be made, if you’re feeling charitable, that no dumb comedy is ever truly too dumb, that there’s endless room in the world of streaming, and our brains, for the low-risk gamble of stupid comedy. In general, that’s probably true. However, to really get out of the hole you need to put in an hour and forty minute. Time with MeKevin Hart portrays a sloppy dad, who decides against all logic to go on an adventure for his birthday with Mark Wahlberg, his oldest friend and irresponsible bachelor. Because they let us forget our minds for a bit, dumb comedies can be very valuable. But with the trillions of entertainment options available today, we can all afford to be a little more discriminating in how low we’re willing to stoop, and Take Time for MeSets the standard for ankle height
John Hamburg wrote and directed this filmPolly Came Along, You’re my man, and I love you.This comedy is about the insecurity of males, and it’s a good one. Hart is Sonny Fisher from Sherman Oaks. Hart takes excellent care of his kids, while Maya Hall (Regina Hall), plays the architect. The setup seems great, but Sonny is feeling threatened by Maya’s biggest client, toothbrush czar Armando (Luis Gerardo Méndez), who’s planning to build a tortoise sanctuary with his riches. Maya, Armando and Sonny get along great; Sonny feels excluded and worthless. Still, when Wahlberg’s Huck Dembo—admittedly, a ridiculously fabulous character name—invites Sonny to his 44th birthday bash, Sonny opts out. He’s a family man now, and has little interest in the nonsense the duo used to get up to, like jumping off mountain ledges in flying-squirrel suits. We see this in an early flashback scene, in which Sonny, against his better judgment, goes flying into a vast cavern of mountain-fresh air yelling, “Yaaaahhhhhhhhhh!” the sort of accidental-he-man goofball thing Hart is particularly good at. It’s a stock move, yet somehow he still makes it funny.
But even if Sonny thinks he’s outgrown his friendship with Huck, plans change. Somehow, when Maya offers to take the kids to her parents’ house for a vacation, Sonny ends up on the special bus Huck has outfitted for his big blowout—there’s a grinning image of himself emblazoned on the side, along with the words “Let’s Get Hucked Up.” Huck has planned a mini Burning Man-style extravaganza in the desert. All of Huck’s friends are much younger, a bevy of youthful partiers in cargo shorts and bikini tops; he’s not interested in settling down just yet. (He tells Sonny he’s following “the Clooney Plan,” figuring he’ll play out the single life until he’s in his fifties, after which he’ll meet a beautiful, accomplished woman and father some twins.) Sonny finds it difficult to fit in with this environment, but he does his best to make friends. Sonny manages, while doing this, to piss off the mother mountain lion who chases him down a trail full of rocks and shrubs. “I got a lion on my ass!” Sonny yells as he runs, yet another variation on the stock Hart thing that he does so well.
Mark Wahlberg plays Huck; Kevin Hart portrays Sonny in Time
You can guess that things escalate from here. Some of Sonny and Huck’s antics are so ridiculous they might make you laugh in spite of yourself: they break into Armando’s compound and, after thinking better of setting one of his beloved tortoises free, they instead decide to go into his mansion and mess things up. This involves emptying the contents of Armando’s spice rack into the garbage, stealing only the left shoe from each pair lined up in the closet, and leaving a tiny poop, which Sonny has dutifully squeezed out, on the bed. “That’s it?” Huck says when he sees the fruit of Sonny’s labor. “It’s like a hotel-pillow mint.”
Okay, that was funny. You must find joy wherever you can. But Wahlberg, whose controversial past includes an assault and being accused of making racist attacks, although he has acknowledged in recent years that he’s made mistakes, will have to work harder than this to earn redemption. Although it might be easier to tear into Wahlberg’s acting abilities, his performance in comedy and dramatic roles has been exceptional.Boogie Nights, The Other Guys)—though viewing audiences, like actors, are only human, and anyone could be forgiven for not feeling great about watching Wahlberg today. That means Hart has to carry most of the show here, which he’s more than capable of doing. But even in a dumb comedy, there’s only so much dumbness most of us can take. You’ll need to assess your own threshold before embarking on Time with Me Particularly if you have limited time.
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