7.17.2005

Wedding Crashers

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson know how to crash a party

There’s a pattern developing with actors like Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell and films like “Zoolander” (2001) and “Anchorman” (2004). It’s masculine dominated comedy that accentuates camaraderie much like the 80’s “brat pack” for a new generation. Vince Vaughn crashes onto the scene, hand-in-hand with Owen Wilson, in “Wedding Crashers.” This adlibbing duo performs the perfect rom-com popcorn flick with just the right amount of butter and lots of witty laughs.

John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) are two bachelors carrying on the tradition of wedding crashing. They booze it up, dance it up, and then get girls to sex it up. Definition: “American Pie” (1999) for mid-30s crowd meets “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), only women are portrayed as hormone driven robots at the sight of a Don Juan with a bottle of Champaign.

The majority of the film is full of frivolous and goofy humor that is engaging up until the last thirty minutes or so when the laughs become chuckles and sizzle to sighs. The romantic dimension is intentionally sappy and formulaic - an obvious ploy to attract women viewers. Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams), John’s love interest, is a flat character but she’s cute and quiet (a.k.a. not annoying like Natalie Portman in “Garden State”, 2004). Christopher Walken doesn’t play a very influential part, but any film with Walken is automatically improved.

The Cleary family has an interesting dynamic that provokes ridiculous happenings. Claire is the rational, stable daughter while her sister Christina (Jenny Alden) is a sex-crazed, fireball. Their brother is an artsy, homosexual who is creepy and sometimes the funniest element in a scene. Betty is the unfaithful, sex devil wife of Treasure Secretary William Cleary who wishes to uphold the best standards of appearance.

“Swingers” (1996) was the last time Vaughn wasn’t treading water, but fans of the man prefer to call it hanging low. “Crashers” is a significant comeback for true Vaughn comedy. Pairing up with shy-guy Wilson creates just the right balance of wit and charm.

This is the summer’s perfect buddy film, but it goes a little overboard with unnecessary comic violence at the hands of Claire’s boyfriend and the ridiculous amounts of avoidable nudity. The film could have been easily given an MPAA rating of PG-13; however, with the target audience scope being of a mature audience, extra scenes devoted to unnecessary nudity and exhausting romanticism was unavoidable.

If given a choice to see “The Fantastic Four” or “Wedding Crashers”, do the box office a favor and pay for a movie you’ll actually enjoy instead of supporting a film that for some reason people keep putting their money into. In other words, go see “Wedding Crashers,” it’s a party.

MPAA Rating: R – for sexual content/ nudity and language, Running Time: 119 minutes

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