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 Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers

Review By: Sal - 7/19/05

The last movie I saw Vince Vaughn in was Mr. & Mrs. Smith, (a surprisingly enjoyable flick, by the way) which left me wanting more. Since his tour-de-force in Dodgeball, I’ve been waiting to see another film where Vaughn manages to shine through, hilariously. Aided by Owen Wilson, I can safely say I’ve found that gem. As a college graduate who is currently surrounded by those caught up in the matrimonial fever, I can somewhat relate to the verbose, carefree (“We’re young, but not that young,”) bachelor types that Vaughn and Wilson embody.

The story is the standard formulaic comedy set in a “fresh, new” setting. I say “formulaic,” because quite simply, the plot is not what’s important, here. These cookie-cutter stories are vehicles to allow the stars of the film to shine as bright as they can. Our two stars, Jeremy Grey (Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Wilson), play two best friends working together in something like a legal firm (this is one of those negligible plot points) and spend the majority of their time and money “crashing” weddings. They are a veritable pair of wedding pioneers, crashing weddings of all cultures and varieties, each with terribly un-subtle handles, used to sneak under the radar. Here’s where the Hollywood plot of the summer kicks into high-gear, when we learn the two crashers’ master plan for getting into these weddings, to quote Vaughn: “Close on some ass.”

Standard “getting laid” rules apply, ladies and gentlemen. Grey and Beckwith (as well as the male half of the audience) enjoy a montage of success, followed by what is expected to be the “wedding of the century,” the marriage of a top-ranking presidential candidate’s daughter. Christopher Walken is a pleasant surprise as the sailing enthusiast politician, though his range, talent, and overall spooktacular nature are not utilized to their fullest potential. Still, Walken manages to take what the credits regard as a character unworthy of a first name, and turn him into more than the standard Shakespearean blocking-father figure.

The duo end up at the senator’s weekend pad, and the two con-artists’ paths diverge to the old one-is-in-love and the one-is-tied-to-a-bedpost story we’re all so familiar with. Wilson enjoys giving the lady of his choice’s fiancé (played adorably by Rachel McAdams) eye-drops, which end up giving him an expected case of the thunder runs and 24 hour fits of heaving, while Vaughn ends up sexually tortured by his creepily-adorable girlfriend (played frighteningly well by Isla Fisher). Hilarity expectantly ensues, and the two have to make life-altering decisions about who they are and what they want out of life.

The real deviation from the norm is the age of the two actors. This film could have easily been given to Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek and been slapped another teen sex comedy, and we would have all given it a big, stupid, smiling review, and Ebert wouldn’t have seen it and would have written a review about it anyway. However, Wilson and Vaughn give this film an odd sense of inevitability that you cannot have with a young cast. True, the two behave like twenty year-olds, but the reality is, the two are in their mid-thirties and it’s obvious. Wilson in particular shares knowing glances at the audience, almost searching for approval for what he’s doing. Ultimately, his search for ass has left him unfulfilled and feeling just a bit childish. Vaughn learns a lesson too, but it’s much more introspective for the Beckwith character, which Owen Wilson really drives home. Even if it isn’t there, the two suggest Wedding Crashers is about more than “closing ass” and getting the girl. It’s about self-recognition, about realizing that you’re an adult, and what that means. It could also be about fulfilling your dreams and making a compromise, that being a grown-up doesn’t mean the party’s over, it’s just a smaller party. Then again, it could be all about the tit-shots. But who am I to judge? I’m still pretty young. But as Wilson pointed out, and what Faber and Fisher might have wanted me to understand, is that I’m not that young anymore.


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