‘Me Time’ written and directed by John Hamburg, who also did ‘I Love You, Man’ and ‘Along Came Polly’, and it is as fine a premise as any to pair a standard straight man with a wild and crazy friend from his youth.
Cast: Kevin Hart, Mark Wahlberg, Regina Hall, Jimmy O Yang
Director: John Hamburg
There is a montage in ‘Me Time’, the new Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg Netflix comedy, where Hart’s character Sonny gets a day to himself after a long time. For years, he’s a stay-at-home dad to his two kids (the very cute Che Tafari and Amentii Sledge). It’s a job he takes very seriously, making Instagram-worthy lunches and managing the home while his wife Maya (Regina Hall) is working. She’s a successful architect, we’re told, but we’ll get to that later.
Sonny has a modest vision for his day off: He wants to golf. He wants to find an underground barbeque spot. And he wants to do a few other things in private. But nothing goes the way he hoped. Unfortunately, his underwhelming experience is similar to that of watching the film itself. ‘Me Time’ squanders a solid premise and a stacked cast.
‘Me Time’ was written and directed by John Hamburg, who also did ‘I Love You, Man’ and ‘Along Came Polly’, and it is as fine a premise as any to pair a standard straight man with a wild and crazy friend from his youth. In this case that friend is Huck (Wahlberg).
We meet them celebrating Huck’s 29th birthday. His wild activity that year is BASE jumping, which provides a lively and promising start for the film that then comes to a complete halt. ‘Me Time’ cuts to 15 years later and spends too much time establishing Sonny’s home life instead of getting him back with Huck as soon as possible.
As Huck, Wahlberg was ready to go all out, including some nudity. He gets to be a high-rolling party fiend. Hart, meanwhile, stays in his comfort zone as a slightly frazzled family man, something he’s very good at, but also something we’ve seen before. Though the two actors seem to be having fun together, the film never really finds its lane.
Huck’s costly lifestyle and elaborate Kardashian-like parties turn into a bit of a plot point when a loan shark (Jimmy O Yang) comes after him for $47,000, which seems like a lot but also not enough for someone who shells out thousands of dollars to have a personal raw bar in the desert and a tour bus wrapped with pictures of himself.
And then there’s the question of why Maya, who her billionaire client (Luis Gerardo Méndez) says is ‘the best architect in the world’, lives in a cookie cutter Sherman Oaks home that looks like it’s been lifted out of a 1990s sitcom. Maya is just one of the underwritten characters at play here, and ‘Me Time’ just misses the mark.