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Ricky Stanicky

Ricky Stanicky is an American comedy film directed by Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary) and boasts an array of stars including Zac Efron, John Cena, Jermaine Fowler, Andrew Santino, Lex Scott Davis, and William H. Macy. This wild and raunchy comedy has been a long time coming, with stars like James Franco and Jim Carrey rumoured to have been playing the title role of Ricky, so has it been worth the wait? Unfortunately, not.


Twenty years after creating the imaginary Ricky Stanicky, three childhood friends still use the nonexistent pal as a handy alibi for their immature behavior. When their spouses and partners get suspicious and demand to finally meet him, the guilty trio decides to hire washed-up actor Rod to bring him to life. However, when Rod takes his role of a lifetime a little too far, they begin to wish they never invented Ricky in the first place.


Whilst Ricky Stanicky is, at times, stupidly funny and easy to watch, there are times it feels timid and tepid and with such an excellent premise the film doesn’t live up to expectations. It needed to push the boat out when it came to boundaries and up the slapstick to be memorable.

The story follows three childhood best friends whose prank goes wrong. To get out of trouble they invent the imaginary “Ricky Stanicky” as their troublesome friend. Twenty years later, Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino), and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) still use the non-existent Ricky as an alibi for their immature behaviour. However, their partners become suspicious and demand to finally meet this mystery man. To keep up pretences, they hire a washed-up actor “Rock Hard” Rod (John Cena), to play their old friend. Rod takes his role of a lifetime too far and they begin to wish they’d never invented Ricky in the first place. Classic trio of men doing stupid stuff to cover their lies to their partners and being forgiven at the end.

Ricky Stanicky

Efron, Santino, Fowler and Cena have good chemistry on-screen but it is Cena who drives the film as the other characters seem a little dull and underdeveloped. There’s nothing quirky or fun about them - even their relationships are bland and the stakes aren’t high enough or clear. I would have liked the actors to have had more physicality and facial expressions to over-emphasize situations and jokes. In a comedy such as this, exaggeration is the key to making the comedy pop, and sometimes this is lacking. The only actor who achieves this and nails it is W.H. Macy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some funny scenes. The circumcision of JT’s son and where a duck tries to drown a dog are funny, and this is the random, ridiculousness that makes Ricky Stanicky worth watching, but they’re few and far between.

Ricky Stanicky

The script overall is weak. Dean’s girlfriend being a reporter discovers the truth, and the conflict blow-up feels incredibly downplayed. It’s a huge life-long lie these guys have been hiding and the big reveal is underwhelming. Everyone is easily forgiven, and no bad repercussions happen. However, there is a definite push in energy in the second half of the film, it has a long runtime for a comedy of nearly two hours, and the first half does drag slightly. When the mission becomes to get rid of Ricky and reputations and careers are at stake, the film picks up the pace and the quick wit and one-liners are stronger.

The ending is ridiculously quick and odd. It’s a happy ending for everyone, showing us that lying isn’t so bad after all.

Overall, Ricky Stanicky is oddly put together, with missed opportunities, and dead air, and to say the film has been years in the making, the script seriously needed more re-writes.


Rating Ricky Stanicky



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