Also known as “The Bachelor Weekend” probably to avoid confusion with the Canadian film Stag. This Irish comedy is about a group of friends on a stag weekend.
After his fiancée becomes concerned that he is unnaturally obsessed with planning the wedding, Fionnan’s best man Davin has to arrange a last minute Stag weekend to make him seem more manly. After initial reluctance, everyone is excited to be going on a wilderness hiking and camping trip until they realise that they will have to spend the weekend with the bride’s obnoxious brother, ridiculously called “The Machine”. Yes, even his sister calls him that.
I thought that this was going to turn into one of those cringe a minute “comedies” where one character being obnoxious and unpleasant to everyone else is supposed to keep us laughing for 90 minutes. Indeed, The Machine is the very archetype of this kind of character. He insults, abuses and degrades all of the other guys on the trip, steals and destroys their expensive camping equipment and deliberately leads them into dangerous situations. However, as the relationships between the characters develop and they start to bond through the course of the weekend, we begin to find out more about this obnoxious prick and about all the other characters as they all slowly become better friends.
This film portrays very well the relationships between this group of men, all with their own troubles of one kind or another. There are some heartbreaking moments and heart warming joy mixed in with expertly timed comedy. Mostly the comedy is of a slapstick nature like falling into an electric fence or getting lost naked in the woods while trying to have a midnight swim.
Persevere through the frankly uncomfortable first 20 minutes or so and let the characters grow on you and you should get a good laugh and a warm feeling from this film.