****1/2 (out of 5)
July 15, 2005
Owen Wilson as JOHN BECKWITH
Vince Vaughn as JEREMY KLEIN
Christopher Walken as WILLIAM CLEARY
Rachel McAdams as CLAIRE CLEARY
Jane Seymour as KATHLEEN CLEARY
Isla Fisher as GLORIA CLEARY
Studio: New Line Cinema
Directed by: David Dobkin
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
“Wedding Crashers” is rude, crude, obnoxious, crass, and almost completely devoid of dignity and respect.
In short, I loved it.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn team up to deliver what they’re best at – screwball, low-brow comedy. And it worked perfectly. I laughed my butt off. “Wedding Crashers” is easily the funniest movie of the year.
The mark of a bad comedy is that all the funniest parts are thrown out in the trailer. You might be tempted to think this would be the case for “Wedding Crashers” simply because the trailers to this film are hilarious. However, like an iceberg, this is only a tiny fraction of the comedy we see in the film. The gutbusting scenes we don’t see are funny enough to sink the Titanic.
“Wedding Crashers” is like “Old School” with the other Wilson boy. Owen’s got more spunk than Luke, and he helps Vaughn carry the comedy throughout the movie. It’s still go the same extreme, silly and whacked out humor we saw last year in “Dodgeball” and “Anchorman.” The film doesn’t pull its punches at all, which is a necessity nowadays with the wash of PG-13 craving in sex comedies and horror flicks.
Wilson and Vaughn play men in their thirties who have been making an annual sport out of crashing weddings. They’re not fans of the nuptials, per se, but rather fans of the hot girls ready to be taken advantage of at the reception. However, when they crash a high-society wedding, John (Wilson) falls for Claire (Rachel McAdams), the bride’s sister, and makes her his goal for the weekend. John drags Jeremy (Vaughn) along for the weekend at the family’s vacation home as he tries to make a connection with Claire.
While the general plotline sounds more like a weak television movie, the real strength comes in through the insanity this family displays and the ludicrous lengths that John and Jeremy will go to bag a girl. The wild comedy gets richer when they get to the weekend getaway and have to deal with a horny – yet very sexy – mother of the bride and her ambiguously gay and angst-filled artist son.
Even two-thirds through the movie when the filmmakers realize they need to tell a story instead of just stringing together a series of gags, they manage to pull out a plot that – dare I say – might even stand up as a date movie. Not a first date movie, mind you, but you might not have too much trouble dragging your girlfriend or wife to this one.
Ever since “Swingers,” I’ve always been a fan of Vince Vaughn’s comedic performances. I’ve never really liked him as a dramatic actor. He was weak in “The Cell” and I’m still in therapy from that whole “Psycho” travesty. But when it comes to comedy, he’s great. Sure, he’s done some lame roles, like his parts in “Be Cool” and “Made,” but when he’s on, he’s on fire. Case in point: “Old School,” “”Dodgeball,” and even his bit part in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”
Christopher Walken leads the cast of seriously funny actors with a role he was born to play. Even dark horses like Jane Seymour manage to walk away with some of the funnier scenes. After years of enduring weddings of friends, relatives and casual acquaintances, I loved its cynical look at an overblown American institution.
Generally, men hate weddings. While every woman feels slighted if she’s not invited to the wedding of even a passing acquaintance in college, us guys get offended if we’re invited to anything other than a close blood relative. After all, who wants to be saddled with the curse of blowing $25 on a gift for someone you don’t know just so you can get a lousy piece of lemon chicken at the reception.
I’ve always hated weddings myself. I’m thankful I’m finally past the age where every friend my wife had in college has already been married. Sure, she drags me to one every now and then, but at least it’s not every weekend.
Of course, I’ve never looked at weddings as if they were a sport. And I suppose that they might be a great place to meet women. So, fathers out there, beware of roving wedding crashers who get inspired by this film come wedding season next year.