Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Movie – Wedding Crashers (2005)

Wedding Crashers is not the kind of movie that anyone would mistake for highbrow.  The Oscars did not come calling.  It did win a number of People’s Choice, Teen Choice, and MTV Movie Awards, though.  It also did pretty well at the box office, especially for an R rated comedy.  This was due to a combination of a mostly appealing cast and some good humor.

John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) are a couple of good friends that are wedding crashers.  They show up at weddings uninvited, and proceed to seduce women that attend them.  They are operating under the maxim that a single woman at someone else’s wedding will be more open to the idea of hooking up with a man.  They improve their odds by having a whole set of rules and techniques to help each other.  For instance, one might pretend to cry to show how sensitive he is, while the other dances with the flower girl to show how kind he is.  Their whole goal is to have a good time, and to pick up women.  They are very good at what they do.

One day they decide to try to crash a high society wedding.  The daughter of a Cabinet Secretary is getting married.  (Forget about any logic on how easily they get into the wedding).  They do their research beforehand so that they can engage the other guests.  Once they get there they both immediately pick out the two sisters of the bride.  John goes for Claire (Rachel McAdams), while Jeremy goes for Gloria (Isla Fisher).  John meets Claire by the wedding gifts and flirts with her while showing his prowess at predicting what’s in each gift.  He also gives her advice on the toast she is going to give. 

Meanwhile, Jeremy gets Gloria to come up to him after impressively making a bicycle out of balloons.  Things work out great for Jeremy and he makes love to Gloria on the beach.  Things start to go wrong for him almost immediately afterwards, though.  Gloria say to him that she always knew her first time would be on a beach.  He’s shocked that she was a virgin, but is even more shocked when she declares her love for him.  He panics and seeks out John so that John can help him ditch this “stage five clinger”.

John, however, is truly attracted to Claire and ends up getting himself and Jeremy invited to their family’s place for the weekend.  Once there more complications arise due to the fact that Claire is engaged to a very jealous man named Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper) and that Gloria turns out to be either an incredibly enthusiastic convert to sexual relations, or nowhere near as innocent as she pretended to be.  This is best demonstrated when she literally rubs Jeremy to completion right in front of her entire family at the dinner table.  Jeremy has to try to keep a conversation going, all while Gloria’s hand is working away, hidden by the tablecloth.

Other events that provide humor are that Claire’s and Gloria’s parents (Jane Seymour and Christopher Walken) don’t have the best marriage.  As Seymour’s character says at one point, they’ve been married for thirty years and faithful for two of them.  On a side note, for the James Bond fans out there, this is Bond girl Solitaire and Bond villain Max Zorin – of course they’re going to have marriage troubles.

As you might expect, various lies and secrets all come out in the open.  The effects on everyone may or may not be what you expect, though.  One character even sinks so low as to crash a funeral instead of a wedding.  This is due to the influence of the man who taught the two of them how to crash weddings (a fun cameo that I won’t spoil).  Speaking of cameos, watch for some familiar faces on the political scene as guests at the wedding.

A little bit of Vince Vaughn doing his shtick goes a long way with me.  He does get a little overbearing at times in this movie, but the rest of the film more than offsets it.  Owen Wilson plays another one of his low-key charmers.  McAdams got a real chance to show her comedic chops after becoming popular in weepy The Notebook and playing it mostly straight in Mean Girls.  Isla Fisher showed everyone that someone who is cute as a button can also be sexy.  Her acceptance speech at the MTV Movie Awards got some big laughs – “Most actresses would have had a hard time with the role of a bipolar nymphomaniac, but I was just playing myself.”

If you are bothered by R rated comedies then you will probably want to skip this movie.  For everyone else I say shut your brains off and have fun.  I recommend you give this film a try.

Chip’s Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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  1. Great review Chip. This flick is very funny and mainly because of Vaughn in what seems to be one of his most iconic performances. It's a shame the film goes for the soft road by the end, but at least it has that middle act where the laughs just keep on comin'.

    1. I didn't mind the ending of it, but I can certainly see how some people would. Thanks.

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  2. Nice review. I am happy to hear I am not the only one to like "The Wedding Crashers". This is not highbrow at all, but not stupid either. I think it is pretty classy. Practically any movie with Vince and Owen will do for me, but this one is one of their best.

    1. "this one is one of their best"

      Agreed. Thanks.

  3. Will Farrell is hilarious as Chazz--only real reason to watch this.

    1. Will Farrell is another actor where a little bit of him goes a long way for me, so the little bit we saw did work for me.

  4. Good piece Chip! With this movie I'm always in for a good laugh. I just realized when reading your review that Wilson and McAdams reunited in Midnight in Paris!

    1. You're right; they did. It was one of my favorite movies of 2011 and it didn't even occur to me. I probably would have mentioned it in this review if I had, so thanks for reminding me. It figures I get the more obscure Bond connection from 30-35 years ago, but miss the one from one year ago.

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