A solid comedy with surprising amounts of warmth, a handful of likeable performances and a few laughs, Me Time won me over and is better than it looks on paper.
This review of the Netflix film Me Time does not contain spoilers or any significant plot points.
I’ll put my cards on the table, I’ve never really been sold on Mark Wahlberg’s on-screen persona. He has shown himself at times to be a more than capable actor and in the right hands, has the ability to produce genuinely interesting work (Boogie Nights and The Departed in particular spring to mind) but very often, and especially in comedic roles, he can stray into self-parody and be, well, a little obnoxious.
So as you can imagine, I was a little sceptical about Me Time, a Netflix comedy that pairs Wahlberg with Kevin Hart and on paper, seems to embody so much that can be distasteful (middle-aged men behaving like puerile teenagers, mostly) about modern Hollywood comedy.
So imagine my delight to discover that across its 1-hour 45-ish minute runtime, Me Time won me over.
Kevin Hart is Sonny, a stay-at-home Dad who has taken parental involvement to the highest of heights; he volunteers as chair of the PTA, talent show director, classroom TA — you name it, he’s coordinating it. He’s a great Dad but he’s also very tightly wound, meanwhile his wife Maya (the always excellent Regina Hall) is a successful architect but is very busy with work and misses time with her kids.
To give everyone a chance to reset, Maya suggests that she takes the kids for Spring Break to her parents and give Sonny the chance for some well-deserved me time. Sonny ends up reconnecting with his free-spirited childhood friend (Wahlberg) to celebrate his 44th birthday and hijinks ensue
Me Time has as its centre some well-functioning relationships. All of the characters are flawed in their way, but they are all rooting for each other. The relationship between Sonny and Huck is genuinely warm, with both men bringing the best out in each other. This is similar to Sonny’s marriage to Maya, they make a great team.
It would have been easy to paint each of these as caricatures but Me Time manages to make them all likeable, without anyone having to be the butt of the joke constantly. Wahlberg brings a lovely touch of humanity to his character and in particular, I enjoyed spending time with his Huck.
That’s not to say all the gags landed for me, there were a few that are a bit too broad for my taste but in that regard, your mileage may vary. Some of the supporting characters grated a touch and things seemed to tie together very neatly at the end for everyone.
Me Time caught me off guard with its warmth and is well anchored by some genuinely likeable performances. It’s far from a perfect comedy but it certainly won me over and I enjoyed spending time with Hart and Wahlberg in particular.
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