Movieline's Hollywood Life - 07/01/2006
"[T]he script is freshened by a great cast; the interplay among the guys is often raucously funny, with a vibrant improvisatory feel."
New York Times - 07/01/2006
"At his most insightful, Mr. Burns knows his characters' every tic."
Entertainment Weekly - 07/28/2006
"Burns uses this rote setup to create buddies with honest voices....Every actor registers....They're all worthy company." -- Grade: B
In the same vein as Edward Burns's previous films (THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, SHE'S THE ONE), THE GROOMSMEN explores the difference between getting older and growing up. Written, directed by, and starring Burns, the film takes place in the days leading up to the wedding of Long Island-born Paulie (Burns). Joining Paulie for a week of alcohol-soaked bonding prior to the big day are his older brother Jimbo (Donal Logue), local buddy Des (Matthew Lillard), Cousin Mike (Jay Mohr), and long-absent childhood friend T.C. (John Leguizamo). While Paulie deals with a classic case of cold feet in anticipation of marrying his pregnant fiancÚ (Brittany Murphy), his groomsmen are inspired to deal with demons of their own. T.C.'s arrival, along with the pressures of seeing a close friend settle down, prompts much self-examination as old bonds are tested and new truths revealed. While the simple story here is pretty familiar territory, things are kept fresh thanks to an authentic sense of location and stellar performances by Jay Mohr as the perpetually childlike Mike (who at age 33, still lives at home with his father), and by Matthew Lillard as family guy Des, the one character in the film who seems to have come to grips with his own adulthood. Through extensive conversation over drinks, and physical squabbles at the softball diamond, these five friends grapple with one question: what makes a man a man' Pondering the question of why males nowadays put off the so-called marks of adulthood that their fathers achieved straight out of high school, THE GROOMSMEN offers more than one answer.