Stag weekend goes awry in comedy

The Stag. Photo: PA Photo/Arrow Films.

The Stag. Photo: PA Photo/Arrow Films.

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Boys will be buffoons in John Butler’s raucous comedy about male friends who gets into scrapes during a stag weekend in rural Ireland.

Far gentler than The Hangover but peppered with similar moments of outrageous misfortune, The Stag chugs along pleasantly and elicits wry smiles as the characters find themselves stark naked in a wood with only makeshift squirrel skin thongs to spare their blushes.

Butler’s script, co-written by actor Peter McDonald, trades in broad stereotypes and never threatens to shatter our preconceptions.

It’s a blessing that the script dodges the outlandish, gross-out humour that seems to be the stock-in-trade of American comedies about friendship and male bonding.

So while there are some bodily fluids, they remain safely off camera, and the two gay characters aren’t simply targets for homophobia.

Groom-to-be Fionnan (Hugh O’Conor) is a self-confessed metrosexual, who would rather attend a hen party than suffer the horrors of a stag do.

At 94-minutes, The Stag doesn’t outstay its welcome but saying “I do” to Butler’s uneven film is tricky.