Soon there are interrupted weddings, "I tried to tellyou but couldn't" apologies and an avalanche of other plot machinationsthat come close to ruining what is otherwise the bawdiest, most consistentlyhilarious comedy so far this year.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have an ad-lib-happy, almostHope-and-Crosby-like chemistry as a pair of buddies -- ironically talenteddivorce mediators by profession -- who spend their free time attendingweddings of people they don't know to score with girls they'll never seeagain. Almost the entire first reel of the movie is something akin to afilmmaking miracle -- one long, perfectly-tuned montage sequence of variousethnic weddings that just keeps getting funnier and funnier as it mixestoasts, dances, flirtations, made-up war stories, fake tears, and prettygirls caught up in the romance of the day and jumping our heroes' bones.
Story proper kicks in when the boys dare to crash "theKentucky Derby of weddings" -- the Secretary of State's eldest daughteris getting hitched -- and Wilson lays eyes on the middle daughter (talented,bright-eyed Everygirl knockout Rachel McAdams) as she's quietly snickeringthrough her sister's corny self-written vows.
Instantly smitten and hoping to woo her away from an unfortunatelyHollywood-typical preppie snob boyfriend (Bradley Cooper), he finaglesthe pair a post-reception invite to join the family at their Hamptons estate.Vaughn gets dragged along much to his consternation, as he's been saddledwith the youngest daughter (relative newcomer and born scene-stealer IslaFisher), a perky-poo, clingy, sexually insatiable borderline psycho. "Don'tever leave me," she coos with her nose cutely crinkled, "...'causeI'd fiiind you."
Reformed sitcom writers Steve Faber and Bob Fisher letloose with a slew of funny scenes -- the girls' frustrated lush of a mother(Jane Seymour) drops her top and comes on to Wilson, the girls' angry black-sheepbrother (Ron Canada) drops trou and comes on to Vaughn, and there's a veryuncomfortable booze-filled breakfast the next morning with the family'spriest (Henry Gibson).
These scenes are boosted by the savvy helming of DavidDobkin (who directed Wilson in "ShanghaiKnights" and Vaughn in "Clay Pigeons"), who knows when to get out ofthe way of his stars' sidesplitting deadpan performances. (The girls' politicallypowerful father, by the way, is played by Christopher Walken -- arguablythe best actor in the world at finding the hidden amusement in sheer intimidation.)
Dobkin also finds a good balance between the movie's oftenribald humor and the unexpected earnestness of the central romance -- aidedin no small part by Wilson's winkingly wicked charm and the irresistiblynatural McAdams' gift for both yuks (her deleted scenes from "TheHot Chick" run rings around star Rob Schneider)and starry-eyed amour (she made the treacly "TheNotebook" worth watching).
But it's the Vaughn-Wilson chemistry that makes "WeddingCrashers" sing with consistent laughter. It's moments like the openingscene, in which they reign in an ugly fight between divorcees Dwight Yoakamand Rebecca DeMornay over custody of frequent flyer miles. It's their boredomand wedding experience leading to bets on whether or not a bride will cryor what Bible verse a bridesmaid will quote in a toast. It's the increasinglyirritated glances they trade as Wilson drags out their chancy charade,and it's the hilarious left-field twist in Vaughn's attempts to escapethe besotted sister's clutches.
Unfortunately, the last act lets all the fresh air outof this tangy comedy and replaces it with formulaic tripe and lazy writingthat insults the characters' intelligence (and the audience's as well),and even ignores some very basic plot points. The poor finish isn't enoughto ruin "Wedding Crashers," but it crosses the finish line witha pronounced limp.
Run time: 119 mins
In Theaters: Friday 15th July 2005
Box Office USA: $209.2M
Box Office Worldwide: $285.2M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 137 Rotten: 45
IMDB: 7.0 / 10
Director: David Dobkin
Starring: Owen Wilson as John Beckwith, Vince Vaughn as Jeremy Grey, Christopher Walken as Secretary William Cleary, Rachel McAdams as Claire Cleary, Isla Fisher as Gloria Cleary, Jane Seymour as Kathleen Cleary, Bradley Cooper as Zachary 'Sack' Lodge, Henry Gibson as Father O'Neil, Keir O'Donnell as Todd Cleary, David Conrad as Trap, Ron Canada as Randolph, Ellen Dow as Grandma Mary Cleary, Dwight Yoakam as Mr. Kroeger, Rebecca De Mornay as Mrs. Kroeger, Jennifer Alden as Christina Cleary, Kathryn Joosten as Chazz's Mom, Will Ferrell as Chazz Reinhold, Diora Baird as Vivian
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