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WEDDING CRASHERS (R) (2005)

New Line Cinema

Official Site

Director: David Dobkin

Producers: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Andrew Panay

Written by: Steve Faber & Bob Fisher

Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken

Rating:


Okay, I’m not giving this movie two stars because it’s not funny; I’m giving it two stars because it’s a pretty bad film. Structurally speaking, the thing’s a mess. There are plot holes galore, tons of one-dimensional cardboard characters, and too many loose ends to mention. Did it make me laugh? Sure it did. But those laughs came irregularly and often awkwardly throughout this silly, offensive festival of raunchy humor and misplaced morality.

The film, directed by David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights, Clay Pigeons), begins with an elongated mediation scene, which is actually quite well done, particularly the casting of Dwight Yoakam as one of the divorcing spouses. With Wilson and Vaughn’s clever back-and-forth banter and somewhat unrealistic mediation skills, I thought, hmmm, this might turn out to be a very entertaining film. Unfortunately for me and every other intelligent, mature person over the age of 19 in the audience, that wasn’t the case, as the film quickly spiralled out of control and left the guy sitting next to me with nothing to do but look at his watch for the next hour and a half.

John Beckwith and Jeremy Klein (played by Owen Wilson and the always-energetic Vince Vaughn) are longtime best friends and divorce mediators, which is ironic since their favorite pastime is crashing weddings and sleeping with any woman who is willing to fall for their ridiculous web of lies. These guys are not heroes; they’re the kinds of men your mother warns you about in junior high. They don’t have a clue about how to tell the truth. And we’re supposed to love these guys and root for things to turn out well for them? Please.

There’s a surprising cameo by box-office dynamo Will Ferrell, which will undoubtedly bring even more pleasure to the millions of teenage boys who’ll be flocking to this film in record numbers. But sadly, he represents the most reprehensible character in the film—the sick, twisted guru who apparently invented wedding crashing (at least in the Washington, D.C. area where the film is set). By the end of the film, Ferrell has morphed into a funeral crasher, where he proudly scores with dozens of bereaved and sorrowful women.

The humor is, for the most part, sexual and demeaning. There’s also a bizarre character named Todd Cleary who, it turns out, is gay and very misunderstood. He’s also completely insane. I can imagine some gay rights groups taking offense at this one-dimensional portrayal of a gay man who is completely wacko. Also somewhat inexplicably, Cleary’s grandmother is rabidly homophobic, and during the very long dinner scene in Treasury Secretary Cleary’s home (played by the great Christopher Walken, in a sadly underutilized role), spouts and spits angrily about Eleanor Roosevelt’s lesbianism. It’s a weird moment, and one that drew virtually no laughter from the sold-out crowd at the screening I attended.

As I mentioned earlier, the film did make me laugh a few times, particularly during the long dinner scene while Vaughn gets a “body” massage under the table by his latest female conquest. Unfortunately, all of the women in the film are seductresses (Jane Seymour as a sex-crazed Mrs. Robinson-type), sluts (any of the dozens of women shown jumping into bed with Vaughn and Wilson in the obscenely long wedding montage early in the film), psychotic stalkers (Vaughn’s girlfriend), or blindly pathetic (Wilson’s lady love, played by the beautiful Rachel McAdams). It’s tough to enjoy a film with so many losers walking around.

If you’re willing to leave your brain and your moral compass at the door, you’ll probably find yourself laughing a lot. If not, take my advice and leave this one to the dopes who don’t mind wasting ten bucks and two hours of their already too-short lives.

—Tiffany Crouch Bartlett

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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