Wedding Crashers review by Tom Blain

For 90 minutes, Wedding Crashers is one hell of a party. Dancing, singing, scheming, picking-up, one-liners, sex-jokes, and hot women During that hour and a half you really hope the party will never die down. The characters are sharp and witty, and low-and-behold, there is actually a decent love story. The only problem is that Wedding Crashers is a 120 minute movie, and the last 30 minutes reminded me more of the wallflower in the corner in wants to be at a party but not be in the party.

John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughan) are divorce attorneys specializing in arbitration and mediation. I had to look up their names online because throughout the entire movie, they use fake names at wedding receptions in order to pick up hot, single women. Hence the name Wedding Crashers. They have the system down. They research the season as if they were baseball scouts looking for the next Randy Johnson. At the beginning of summer, a list of seventeen weddings with great potential crosses their desk, and they jump into action.

Their names are fake but they are always related to some distant aunt or uncle; you know the one that just barely made the cut of the guest list. The scout the women and look for tells at the ceremony (as Grey puts it a tattoo might as well be a target), and when it comes time for the reception they play there angle. It could be the guy dancing with the grandma. It could be the guy making balloon puppets for kids. It could be the guy who was in the French foreign legion. At the end of the night, everyone goes home happy and wakes up a single man. The opening montage of bacchanalia, shows them pulling out every trick in the book and having a great time. It makes you wish you werent in the theatre freezing you rear off.

Towards the end of the season, Beckwith starts to run a little cold of the idea. He becomes the wet blanket thinking; as he gets a little older he wants something else. At the final wedding of the year he finds that something else in maid of honor, brunette beauty Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams). Right away his pursuit of her becomes more and more serious as it takes the two crashers (under fake names, jobs, hobbies, etc etc) to the families home for the weekend. Beckwith is chasing down love, while Grey is getting snot beaten out of him in every way imaginable (just dessert for his life of lies and deceit). On top of that he is being stalked my Claires wildly goofy sister Gloria (Ilsa Fischer) whose virginity he believes he stole.

The chemistry between Vaughan and Wilson is expectedly great. Vaughan reprises his Swingers role of Trent-baby and turns up the volume and energy a tad. Instead of being the cheerleader for a sadsack, he is a sidekick/wing man for an equally deadly, equally slick Owen Wilson. Sure Wilson plays his usual role: a surfers aloofness, with a cool head, and an low volume aw-shucks Texas drawl. But its a role that works for him in many movies and many roles. He will most likely never earn high praise or awards for it, but he can sure turn a funny one-liner with a deadpan, crooked nose expression.

When love strikes, the chemistry between Wilson and McAdams is unexpectedly great. For the first time in a long time, I found myself buying into a budding romance in a comedy I would rank on par with the likes of Old School. I think the reason I reacted so poorly to the last 30 minutes was because the two were separated and the chemistry had been broken. Even when they got back together in the end, the feeling and mood had changed a bit; some of the momentum had been lost. In its place, side stories and lost-love-depression scenes filled the gaps. One would hope that we would go back to more scenes involving the party hard Vaughan and Wilson, but even that was abandoned.

Wedding Crashers started out with a huge head of steam that had me laughing at embarrassing decibel levels. The characters were fun guys who were just looking to have a good time; guys that you wouldnt mind crashing your own wedding (as long as your sister isnt single). I was raring to write a review comparing it to Old School, my current watermark for hilarious comedies. But the director/writer went too far with the story and took it down too far, before tying up the lose ends. I will probably pick up Wedding Crashers again just to relive the laughs I did have, but that wont be until I am able to fast forward a few dragging scenes.




6 out of 10 Jackasses
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