(director/writer: Peter Farrelly; screenwriters: based on a story by David Occhino & Jason Decker, the screenplay & story is by Jeff Bushell, Brian Jarvis & James Lee Freeman, Pete Jones & Mike Cerrone; cinematographer: John Brawley; editor: Patrick J. Don Vito; music: Dave Palmer; cast: Zac Efron (Dean), Jermaine Fowler (Wes), Andrew Santino (JT), Lex Scott Davis (Erin), Anja Savcic (Susan), Jeff Ross (Rabbi Greenberg), Daniel Monks (Keith), William H. Macy (Summerhayes), Heather Mitchell (Leona), Apple Farrelly (Carly), John Cena (Rod/Ricky Stanicky); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paul Currie, Thorsten Schumacher, John Jacobs, Michael De Luca; Amazon MGM Studios; 2024)

“Too few jokes were funny.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

No one can save this imaginary raucous friend comedy from its ineptitude. It’s vacuously directed by Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”/”Dumb and Dumber”) and tiresomely written by him and a score of writers such as Jeff Bushell, Brian Jarvis, James Lee Freeman, Pete Jones & Mike Cerrone. It’s based on a story by David Occhino & Jason Decker.

The dumb story is about three close friends from childhood to young adults coming up with a daffy scheme to get out of trouble. Though filled with gags, the jokes are seldom funny and they only get a few laughs.

Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino) and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) have been best friends since their days in elementary school. Whenever they did something bad, they blamed their imaginary friend Ricky Stanicky as the culprit. They have blamed Ricky for everything even after the trio has moved on in life but still like to goof around together and get into jams.

Because some 25 years later they still use Ricky as a convenient alibi for their screw ups, and their significant others–Dean’s girlfriend Erin (Lex Scott Davis), the pregnant wife of JT, and the gay lover of Wes–are becoming increasingly suspicious that they have never seen Ricky. So the jokey trio come up with the bright idea of hiring an out of work actor, Rod (John Cena, former wrestler), to play Ricky.

Funny moments include the serious actor taking over at a bris for Rabbi Greenberg (Jeff Ross) when he collapses, Dean and JT messing around with their investment banker boss’s (William H. Macy) new hair transplant, falling down a “k hole,” and “air dicking.”

Too few jokes were funny, the stars played unlikable characters and their friendship is built on lies.