Sunday, July 24, 2005

Movie Review: Wedding Crashers

United States, 2005
U.S. Release Date: 7/15/05
Running Time: 1:56
Rated: R (Profanity, sexual situations, nudity, violence)
Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Bradley Cooper

Director: David Dobkin
Producers: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Andrew Panay
Screenplay: Steve Faber & Bob Fisher
Music: Rolfe Kent
Studio: New Line Cinema

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While Wedding Crashers mimics the same sex-crazed shenanigans of American Pie, Animal House, and Old School, some unexpected romance can also be found. In terms of the film’s slightly deterrent romance, you already know the formula: boy becomes smitten with girl, but there’s an obstacle in his way; girl becomes smitten with boy; girl finds out boy lied; boy has to win girl back. However, underneath this standard romantic-comedy recipe, it is the crudeness and hilarity that makes this film worthwhile. Despite its clichés and formula-driven plot, Wedding Crashers is the low-odd favorite for comedy of the summer and quite possibly of the year.

Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) are divorce lawyers, but ask them what their true profession is and their answer will be wedding crashers. In an opening montage, these two thirty-somethings are shown at a series of different weddings using fake names, charming everyone in sight, and eventually laying a multitude of naked women in their beds. Jeremy and John play a continuous con game of utilizing women’s heightened levels of estrogen during the romantic wedding season to tally another notch on their belt.

However, once the shameless twosome crash the wedding of one of U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Cleary’s (Christopher Walken) daughters, John falls for another one of his daughters named Claire (Rachel McAdams). The swindling is cut short as John’s love for Claire continues and his desire to philander is subdued. But, with Claire’s boyfriend (Bradley Cooper) down John’s throat and Jeremy itching to leave the party because of the Secretary’s clingy yet kinky other daughter named Gloria (Isla Fisher), things get complicated.

The duo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson connect with faultless comedic timing and chemistry. While Wilson dishes out droll charisma as Vaughn’s sidekick, Vaughn is at his very best, as the ingenious motor-mouth, since his “Vegas, baby” Swingers show. The two are so believable as the raunchy longtime friends, that when they say, “I love you,” to each other it isn’t weird in any way.

Along the same lines of Alyson Hannigan in American Pie, Isla Fisher covers the half-ditsy half-psychotic role, except Fisher quadruples Hannigan’s sex appeal. As for Rachel McAdams, she is absolutely alluring as Wilson’s love interest. After The Notebook and now Wedding Crashers, McAdams has established herself as a delightful and credible actress who can suck any viewer in with her smile.

Aside from the mass of good-looking women and the romance they serve in the end, Wedding Crashers thrives on the physical comedy of its male leads. Between the triad of Vaughn, Wilson, and Walken, there are enough instances to spread hooting and howling throughout the theatre. Nonetheless, with the addition of Bradley Cooper as Sack Lodge and a hilarious bit part by Will Ferrell, Wedding Crashers becomes the most enjoyable and attendable laugh-out loud endeavor since Meet the Parents.

Combine Vaughn and Wilson with randy college-humor and a splash of romance, and you get a blockbuster for all to enjoy. If you are able to look past both the normalcy of the love story and the fact that ten minutes could have been shaved off of the running-time, you are sure to have a fun time at the movies. Thankfully, the trailer for Wedding Crashers does not put all of its antics on display, and in the same breath, does not do its hilarity justice. Go see this excellent mix of tomfoolery and true love; you won’t be disappointed. (*** out of ****)

© Copyright Brandon Valentine 2005