Wedding Crashers

4 stars


17th July 2005

Reasons why real life isn't as good as the movies #47: Weddings. Example? Sunday - I go to see Wedding Crashers, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two irresponsible bachelors who crash weddings to pick up chicks and get laid. In this movie, weddings are awash with attractive, vulnerable, slutty young girls, raucous music and raunchy dancing, with one high-profile event leading our duo on adventure that includes sailing, hunting and a jaunty summer bike ride. Rewind 24 hours, and I'm at a real wedding. I know no one. No one knows me. I make small talk with a man whose name I forget. He works in a bread factory. I pick at a chicken leg but fear I will not be able to approach any attractive bridesmaids due to grease stains around my mouth. I decide not to approach anyone and instead sit in the corner, chicken-less, watching aforementioned bridesmaids have their throats inspected by the tongues of their boyfriends. Do I need to draw you a frickin' diagram?

So, we've established that Wedding Crashers isn't exactly an accurate portrayal of real life, but what it does do well, extremely well in fact, is construct an agreeable comedy with some genuine laugh out loud moments and a pair of main characters that are surprisingly lovable. It's odd to think that Wilson and Vaughn have never worked exclusively together before because they've got the chemistry that a lot of double-acts lack; Wilson is happy to play the straight guy in John, who accidentally falls in love, while Vaughn is content to unleash his motor mouth as Jeremy, a moral-free crasher who fucks first and feels guilty later (or never, to be precise). When the pair crash the wedding at the family home of government Senator Cleary (Christopher Walken in full-on threatening mode), they get more than they bargained for when they meet his daughters; Clare (Rachel McAdams) who is unfortunately engaged, and Gloria (Isla Fisher) who is unfortunately a complete psychopath.

Wedding Crashers manages to strike a careful balance between the necessary mush and the money laughs - McAdams is so damn cute you'll forgive her excessive eyelash fluttering, while Isla Fisher almost manages to upstage Vaughn with her bunny boiler nut job. A wide-eyed maniac who thinks nothing of jerking off her man under the table at a family dinner, it looks like Home and Away's Shannon finally grew up - she's certainly grown a few more things since last time I saw her. However, Vaughn is on unstoppable form; whether he's making inappropriately loud sexual remarks during a wedding ("she just eye-fucked the shit out of me") or getting unfairly pounded during a game of touch football, he's never less than uproariously funny. Chris Walken is underused but not wasted, whereas Jane Seymour makes the most of her screen time by making Owen Wilson feel up her new tits. Dr. Quinn to the bedroom, we've got a sexy emergency.

Breasts might be plentiful, along with some fairly colourful language ("Why are we hunting Quail? I don't even know what the fuck a Quail is!") but that's pretty much all that pushes Wedding Crashers into the 'adult comedy' bracket. If you've heard it mentioned in the same breath as Animal House, then I hope the sentence also included 'is not as good as' otherwise you've been misled. Wedding Crashers doesn't exactly veer wildly from convention, checking the boxes next to 'asshole boyfriend', 'emotional climax' and 'unnecessary Frat Pack cameo' on the way (Will Ferrell might be a funny guy but even the funniest comedians cease to be amusing when they can't say no to a paycheque). If you're so short-sighted to think that a wedding comedy won't have a certain element of slush then you're delusional, but thankfully the rest of us will be able to climb that obstacle and will get a real kick out of watching Vaughn and Wilson riffing off each other, and indeed tearing holes in each other.

Wedding Crashers knows it's nothing particularly groundbreaking, but is excellent at sticking to its strengths, namely feeding razor-sharp dialogue to the two leads and retaining a bright and breezy demeanour throughout. With the exception of the odd misfired gag - Senator Cleary's homosexual son only exists to set up a few lame gay jokes - Wedding Crashers is consistently entertaining and playful with just the right amount of schmaltz on the side. Above all else, it should teach you how to prepare a proper plan for approaching weddings in the future. My new tactic? Hi there, my name's Chuck Manford. I am a fireman. And ladies? It might just be your lucky night. Now where's that chicken? Ali

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