“The Out-Laws” is a decent Netflix pick

Synopsis: A straight-laced bank manager about to marry the love of his life. When his bank is held up by infamous Ghost Bandits during his wedding week, he believes his future in-laws, who just arrived in town, are the infamous Out-Laws.
Director: Tyler Spindel
Stars: Adam Devine, Ellen Barkin, Nina Dobrev, Pierce Brosnan

Years ago, in an interview, Chris Rock mentioned the advice he received from Morgan Freeman when they were making Nurse Betty together. Rock explained that his Academy Award-winning co-star called him out at the time for ‘overacting.’

The proverbial ‘you are here’ (points arm high), I need you to be here (points arm low). From time to time, many actors, some children, significant others, and even coworkers are guilty of overacting. Hold onto this thought for a moment; we’ll circle back to it shortly.

The Out-Laws is a new Netflix comedy that boasts a very impressive cast. Adam Devine and Nina Dobrev play Owen and Parker, an engaged couple just days away from their wedding. Owen is a bank manager and very uptight; even a slap on the bum from his yoga instructor fiancé is enough to throw him off course. They say opposites attract, and this couple is living proof of it. Regardless, they love each other and are excited to spend the rest of their lives together.

The couple receive some last-minute good news: Parker’s parents, Lilly and Billy (Ellen Barkin and Pierce Brosnan), will be able to attend their big day after all. Owen has never met his future in-laws and is very excited. Once they arrive, he does everything he can to impress them.

One night, the mild-mannered Owen finds himself drinking excessively and lets go of all of his inhibitions. He ends up saying too much, especially about the bank’s security. The term ‘diarrhea of the mouth’ comes to mind as our forthcoming groom won’t stop talking.

Several days later, Owen’s bank is robbed, and he suspects his future in-laws are the culprits. Hot on the trail of the robbers is Agent Oldham (Michael Rooker). Rooker, also fun to see on screen, plays the typical ‘gum shoe’ detective character very well.

There are some fun scenes in this film. Brosnan and Barkin have both had phenomenal careers, and one should have no issue with them dabbling in some comedic fun. I always roll my eyes when serious actors do comedy and are criticized for it. At one point, the former James Bond actor pokes fun at himself, and it’s hilarious.

Nina Dobrev is no stranger to Netflix (Love Hard) and is sweet in the film. Devine’s performance may slightly overshadow hers, but her onscreen fiancé also gets more screen time.

The Out-Laws, which is produced by Adam Sandler, contains fun action scenes and is an overall good time.

Now back to the overacting — Devine’s Owen is over the top, way over the top. There are aspects of his character that border on cringe. He is here (points arm high); sometimes, we need him to be here (points arm low). His desperation to be accepted by his future in-laws isn’t anything we haven’t seen on screen before (Meet the Parents comes to mind). It is a bit much, but somehow Devine makes it work. He is one of the few actors who can pull it off; many of his performances have been overly enthusiastic (Pitch Perfect).

The Out-Laws checks many boxes, including being funny and interesting, and it makes great use of its cast, which includes Lil Rel Howery, Lauren Laplus, Poorna Jagannathan, Julie Haggerty, and Curb Your Enthusiasm alums Richard Kind and Dan Jablons.

This is silly, fun, and a decent option to check out on Netflix.

Grade: B-