This summer has been unusually humor-free, which is probably why the arrival of Wedding Crashers seems like a breath of fresh air. After being bombed, zapped, and gutted for the past few months, I have a sneaking suspicion that Wedding Crashers will deliver some much-needed mid-summer shenanigans for most moviegoers.
John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) love weddings. They don’t mind getting dressed up, acting like courteous individuals, and shooting the breeze with people they don’t even know. Oh no, John and Jeremy are in this deal for one reason: the bridesmaids. While the free food and drinks are nice, it is the allure of ending up in the sack with a horny bridesmaid that has them crashing weddings throughout the summer.
It’s business-as-usual until the two attend a wedding in which the powerful Cleary family is present. John is immediately taken aback by the beauty of Claire (McAdams), an ordinary girl currently trapped in a relationship with Sack (Bradley Cooper), a domineering wannabe jock. Jeremy quickly hooks up with the younger Gloria (Fisher), a head case who becomes a “stage five clinger,” according to Jeremy. Soon the two find themselves as guests of the Cleary household. Will they find true love and discontinue their shallow ways?
Running an overly-long 119 minutes, the film loses a good deal of momentum in its third act, as the film frantically tries to tie up loose ends. It is here that we meet the “king” of wedding crashing, if you will, and it comes in the form of a quite unremarkable cameo by Will Ferrell. Some pitch black humor is introduced as well, none of which I found particularly amusing.
Regardless, Wedding Crashers is plenty rude and coarse, but many may be surprised its down-to-Earth moments. Teens will be pleased by the antics on display, but the thirty-something crowd may connect on a more personal level with the personality crossroads John and Jeremy experience as they walk the fine line between lovable and downright offensive. Instead of taking the easy route and simply making John and Jeremy caricatures that don’t exist in known reality, screenwriters Steve Faber and Bob Fisher have crafted two individuals who may feel a bit too close to home for some of us.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn own this movie. Their interplay results in one of the best comedic duos in years, possibly since Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber. The funniest moments in the film are actually when they aren’t trying. The subtle facial expressions, the reactions to the outrageous situations, and of course their co-action with the stone-cold Christopher Walken, who can make even the weakest of material float (see Envy if you don’t believe me). Rachel McAdams plays off the two well and gives her character an identity instead of turning in a rudimentary “look, I’m really cute!” performance. Isla Fisher, who last appeared in David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees, transforms into every guy’s worst nightmare, and her shakedown scene with Vaughn is one of the highlights of the film.
Wedding Crashers will serve as a fantastic deviation from the serious fare in theaters at the moment. Those who are avid fans of Wilson and Vaughn are virtually guaranteed a good time, and the uninitiated viewer will certainly be amused. Groundbreaking humor it is not, but who needs that in a summer full of mass destruction and water leaks?
Studio: New Line Cinema
Length: 119 Minutes
Rating: R for sexual content/nudity and language.
Theatrical Release: July 15, 2005
Directed by: David Dobkin
Written by: Steve Faber & Bob Fisher.
Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour