Anyone who has ever hosted or been on the production end of a wedding knows that it's not all that difficult to crash a wedding. The gleeful moods and party-like atmosphere are the perfect masquerade to cover the intentions of any potential interlopers. But what's difficult to imagine is that any real-life wedding crashers could be as slick and skilled in the art of gaining confidence as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers.
They're John Beckwith (Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vaughn), a couple of 30-something business partners and lifelong friends who live for the Spring wedding season, when they can continue to share a rite of passage left over from their college days - crashing Weddings to experience the free booze, scarf some free food, but most importantly, pick up the vulnerable bridesmaids who've let their guards down in a celebratory moment of bliss.
Irish weddings, Jewish weddings or Chinese weddings... it doesn't matter. This charismatic duo is always prepared with a clever quip or an appropriate back-story to deflect probing relatives. Among their arsenal is a set of rules for wedding crashing that includes among hundreds of other items, "don't be afraid to be the center of attention." Simply sitting in the corner like a wallflower not only draws attention, it's not nearly as fun. But the most important rule is not only the one that allows their sham to flourish, it's also the key ingredient that makes Wedding Crashers, the film, succeed. John and Jeremy work in perfect unison to create a believable affront to their sometimes raunchy but always funny shenanigans. (If I could only get my hands on that wedding crashing rule book!) The comedic skills and on-screen chemistry of Vaughn and Wilson are truly remarkable. And kudos goes to director David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights) for standing down to let the duo ply its craft. He realizes the film rests squarely on their shoulders. They play off each other like many of the best comedic duos of all time. Think Martin & Lewis or Hope & Crosby. They're that good.
As John begins to tire of the ruse, Jeremy proposes that they hit one more wedding to close the season in grand style. Treasury Secretary William Cleary's (Christopher Walken) daughter is marrying in what will surely be the Washington, D.C. social event of the year. Once inside the affair, John and Jeremy begin to work their magic. They make balloon animals for the children, dance with the grandmothers and even end up cutting the cake with the bride and groom. But a couple of things happen that neither has a plan for. John falls in love with Claire (Rachel McAdams), one of the bride's sisters, and Jeremy ends up with another that falls under the wedding crasher euphemism of "stage 5 clinger".
The movie is flat-out hilarious for the first two-thirds thanks to the machine gun-like verbal dexterity of Vaughn and the swooning savoir-faire of Wilson. It's fun watching these two cats work their romantic magic. But the story begins to implode on itself once their secret is revealed. Contrivances and clichÃ©s get in the way as depression sets in for a lovesick John. We know how the story's going to end, it just takes way too long to get there. However, the extended cameo appearance of Will Ferrel does bring up the interest level a couple notches. After all, what would a frat pack movie be without Will Ferrell?
Writers Steve Faber and Bob Fisher work hard to make Wedding Crashers appealing to the female members of the audience as well. And for the most part they succeed. At its heart it's a romantic little chick-flick. But around the edges it's a crude guy film full of sex jokes and sight gags. And it's the stuff around the edges that gives it its R rating. But without the adult rating it wouldn't be as funny nor would it be as refreshing in this day of neutered PG-13 fare.
Wedding Crashers starring anyone else becomes just another summer has-been. Wedding Crashers starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson becomes a proposal that'll last 'til death do they part.
Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Closed Captioned
Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 Surround; English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; director's commentary; cast and crew interview; deleted scenes; featurette.
* Audio Commentaries:
o Feature-length audio commentary with director David Dobkin.
o Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn
* Deleted Scenes: 3 scenes that didn't make the final cut.
o Event Planning
o A Crash Course in Wedding Crashing
* Music Video:
o The Sights: Circus
* DVD-Rom Interactive Features:
o Wedding Crashers game
o Interactive soundtrack
Number of discs: - 1 - Keepcase Packaging.
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