Netflix’s never-ending stream of content delivers such a broad spectrum of movies that it’s practically impossible to predict the level of quality of any given title. On paper, Me Time has potential: with Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg starring in a buddy comedy caper, it has the makings of a great comedy movie. In typical Netflix fashion, Me Time received practically no real marketing, and simply landed on the platform without making much of a splash.
With two of the biggest comedy stars in the world leading its story, it would seem that Me Time would benefit from the surplus of talent. After all, successful movies are made with only one bankable star – and sometimes, not even that – so Me Time should be safe with the combined talents of Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg. It should be, but it isn’t.
From the off, Kevin Hart’s talents are partially wasted. His character is written to be so highly-strung as to be implausible, and his poor treatment of his family is immediately unpleasant and clearly a set-up to a later plot point. From the opening scenes, Me Time gives away practically its entire story simply by merit of falling into as many established tropes as possible with precisely no shame.
Even more predictably, Wahlberg’s character is introduced as the direct opposite: carefree and so laid back as to have passively ruined his own life with ceaseless optimism and irresponsibility. Falling into the familiar odd couple dynamic, Me Time‘s characters engage in a night of escapades that all stem from the two characters’ worst traits, further unraveling both of their lives. The end of the second act (in an incredibly predictable turn) sees them turn against one another, citing their vastly different personalities. Me Time‘s ending makes no innovation, either – they realize each other’s worth, learn a lesson from their ordeal, and move on with their lives all the better for it. Conveniently neat, unimaginative, and a thorough waste of Hart and Wahlberg’s talents.
Me Time’s Execution Does Nothing To Save Its Basic Premise
As Me Time tells a story that’s so overdone it borders on plagiarism, it really needed to deliver on its comedy and its overall execution. Sadly, it failed to do so, particularly as it’s so invested in delivering established tropes that it forgets to redeem its characters in any way whatsoever. More importantly, its characters are categorically wrong in almost everything they do, but there’s never any genuine development: they realize how to live with their shortcomings, and all is forgiven. It’s as bland an ending as ever there was, and it feels decidedly unearned.
While there are a few moments of vague amusement to be had, most of Me Time‘s comedy is derived from the truly awful behaviors of parents and spouses. There’s no discernible satire on display, and the only payoff to be had is that characters are called out for their behavior, but not forced to face any consequences. This makes Me Time the story of two entirely unsympathetic man-babies who are categorically incapable of being decent human beings – and everyone, including innocent children and animals, suffer as a result.
Me Time is a film that leaves a vague emptiness: it’s competent and ticks all the boxes, but it’s lazy. It does nothing to earn its comedy, and it does nothing to make its characters feel even remotely good. In this, there’s very little to actively like about Me Time, because it’s far sadder than it is funny: but hey, if you enjoy watching grown men disregard every responsibility they should know to consider, then maybe it’s the movie for you.
Summary: Casting big stars and following a basic formula doesn’t make good comedy if there’s nothing deeper. Me Time is somehow simultaneously generic and inherently unpleasant, with humor fueled by cruelty and drama so contrived it’s practically insulting.
Highlight: Kevin Hart and Wahlberg’s respective charms shine through on occasion, but otherwise, there are no highlights – just frustration and sadness.