Wedding Crashers

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Review byMatthew Turner13/07/2005

Three out of Five stars

Running time: 119 mins Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn make a great comedy team and there are some terrific gags here but Wedding Crashers is far too long and eventually outstays its welcome.

Recent articles have begun to refer to the likes of Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell as “The Frat Pack”, given their propensity for working together or showing up for cameos in each other’s movies.

Wedding Crashers only serves to strengthen that impression, but it also demonstrates that Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are an inspired comedy double act; hopefully they’ll do more movies as a team after this.

The Plot

Wilson and Vaughn play John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, a pair of divorce mediators who share the unusual hobby of crashing weddings in order to pick up women. Whatever the ethnicity of the wedding party (be it Jewish, Italian, Irish, Chinese or Hindu), the charismatic pair always have a decent back story and make sure they stick to their tried and tested “rules of wedding crashing”.

However, when they crash a wedding hosted by Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) John unexpectedly finds himself falling hard and fast for Cleary’s daughter Claire (Rachel McAdam) while Jeremy bites off more than he can chew when he seduces Claire’s loopy sister Gloria (Isla Fisher).

When John discovers that Claire is engaged to her pompous boyfriend Sack (Bradley Cooper), he persuades a reluctant Jeremy to break the crashing rules and accept an invitation to an extended weekend party at the Cleary’s mansion house. But will their cover stories hold up long enough for John to lure Claire away from Sack?

The Highlights

Wedding Crashers starts off brilliantly with a hilarious extended montage sequence that is both saucy and inspired; it begins with the boys crashing a variety of different weddings and ends with a dizzying plethora of sex scenes followed by a none-too-subtle sequence of exploding champagne bottles. Unfortunately, it’s also fair to say that the film blows its own cork too soon, as there’s nothing in the rest of the film that quite matches this sequence.

Wilson and Vaughn work brilliantly together, both physically and verbally – we correctly sense that a lot of changes were made to the original script to incorporate their own ideas and ad-libs. Wilson’s faux-sincerity is particularly hilarious, especially during lines such as: “Some people say we only use 10% of our brains – I think we only use 10% of our hearts…”

The Performances

The supporting cast is extremely good too. Rachel McAdam cements her Next Big Thing reputation, following her success in both Mean Girls and The Notebook, while Isla Fisher is hilariously over-the-top as Gloria; her scenes with Vaughn are definite highlights. Walken, surprisingly, takes something of a back seat and tones his performance down, although Jane Seymour more than makes up for that as the sexually aggressive Mrs Cleary, who sets her sights on John.

The Problems

Unfortunately, Wedding Crashers ignores one of the golden rules of comedy and clocks in at almost two hours, with the result that it drags considerably before its admittedly enjoyable conclusion – it’s rare for the traditional ‘big romantic speech’ at the end to get laughs, but Wedding Crashers somehow pulls it off. However, before that happens, there’s a cameo by a fellow Frat Packer that doesn’t quite work and almost knocks the film off balance.

In short, Wedding Crashers is an enjoyable comedy with some decent gags and it’s ultimately worth seeing for the Vaughn-Wilson double-act.

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Wedding Crashers
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Content updated: 19/10/2019 11:32

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