Wedding Day Curves from Wilson & Vaughn
Whilst there is no doubting that "Wedding Crashers" is one heck of a stupid movie and at times unbelievably juvenile it is also at times incredibly funny as well as entertaining. Following the trend in recent cinema to create comedies which are more about set pieces than telling a story, although this one does seem to have more plot to it than most, "Wedding Crashers" is equally on par if not better than a lot of the recent attempts. The reason why for me it is better is nothing to do with the comedy, or the acting, although Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn work well together, but because whilst the emphasis is always on getting laughs, it does have a reasonable romantic plot which it doesn't ignore.
To break up the monotony of their daily working lives, best friends John Beckwith (Owen Wilson - Zoolander) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn - Four Christmases) spend their free time crashing wedding parties, bedding bridesmaids and generally being party animals supporting each other in their conquests by following a set of wedding crashing rules. But when at the biggest wedding of the year John falls head over heels for Claire (Rachel McAdams - The Time Traveller's Wife) the daughter of a big US Congressman, he inadvertently breaks one of their golden rules, and Jeremy is left at the hands of his other daughter Gloria (Isla Fisher - Wedding Daze), a seemingly psychotic nymphomaniac. But even their extreme antics won't prepare them for what goes on when they are invited back to the Congressman's house for an after wedding party.
The set up to "Wedding Crashers" which covers the opening few sequences is one of the best in recent comedies. We get introduced to best friends John and Jeremy who not only work together as divorce mediators, now that is a scary thought, but they are also best buddies out side of work. Often in movies like this the set up fails to work because you just can not imagine the two leads as being mates, but it really does work here and you can just imagine Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn chilling out over a couple of beers. Once the introductions are out of the way we get into the meat of "Wedding Crashers" which to start with is all about crashing weddings, free food and getting laid no matter what pack of lies you have to tell to get the woman you have targeted into bed. All of this is done through a quick fire montage of the two guys at work crashing weddings whether traditional, Jewish or whatever and provides countless laughs as they manage to easily mingle amongst the unlikeliest of crowds.
Of course with the target of all this partying being to bed some unlucky maiden there is a fare amount of titillation slipped in as well to please the younger audience, whether it is needed depends on whether you enjoy seeing topless women although i would imagine it would have received a lower certificate instead of the 15 it was awarded if just these few snippets were removed.
Once this set up has run its course "Wedding Crashers" actually changes pace and becomes in some ways your more traditional romantic folly, well as traditional as it can be whilst being interspersed with toilet gags and sex jokes. It is also at this point that Owen Wilson's character changes track as well, having fallen for the Congressman's daughter Wilson steps down a gear with the humour leaving Vaughn to lap it up with the majority of the comedy moments. This switch in emphasis really works well giving the movie a much needed boost and a meaning that so many modern comedies lack. At times this romantic storyline is touching as John finds out that the objection of his affections is already involved with another man who seems to be only interested in her as a trophy. Not that this storyline is ever going to be in the same league as romantic classics but it is a surprising addition which works well within this comedy.
Whilst the romantic storyline is going on, the mirth is still running strong as Jeremy not only finds himself in deep with the psychotic sister but also finds himself the object of her homosexual brother's affections. This alone would be enough to provide countless opportunities for juvenile merriment but then you can add into the mix the protective father played by Christopher Walkern who's ability to be menacing whilst funny adds to the satirical element of "Wedding Crashers". In another surprising twist that you don't often see in the comedy genre, the end result of all this romance, psychotic behaviour and general hilarity is not what you would initially predict.
As is the case with many recent big comedies, there are a bunch of actors who seem to pop up all over the place in each others movies, one of which is Owen Wilson who for once gets to show what he is like in a lead role. Whilst Wilson does an admirable job at both providing comedy and playing it somewhat straight, I have one huge problem with his performance. Nothing about it stands out from anything he has done before and it just feels like he is doing the same things he has done countless times in other movies. The same issues arises with Vince Vaughn as I found it hard to differentiate between his performance and character in "Wedding Crashers" to say that of Bernard Campbell in "Old School". But whilst this did annoy me slightly I cannot deny that the pairing worked absolutely brilliantly and between them they managed to provide countless moments of belly busting hilarity. Adding to the mix is Christopher Walkern who seems to be able to turn his hand to anything whether comedy or drama. Whilst not at the forefront of providing the laughs he manages to make you smile just by his mannerisms as he tries to be the protective father.
Whilst the men get the majority of the best parts there are three ladies in "Wedding Crashers" which are just as good. First up is Isla Fisher as the psychotic daughter who clings on to John. Although once better known for her stint in Aussie soap "Home and Away", she does hold her own in this comedy providing an equal match for Vince Vaughn. Next up has to be the gorgeous Jane Seymour as the congressman's wife who although again is not at the forefront of the comedy is pretty funny when she comes onto John in one of the funniest topless scenes in the movie. Finally you have Rachel McAdams who is the object of John's affections, whilst she may have next to nothing when it comes to the comedy she is very good in this romantic role, and interacts brilliantly with Owen Wilson.
There is one thing which seems to be really missing from "Wedding Crashers" and that is a really good soundtrack. Other than the early montage of wedding crashing which is set to music, there seemed to be very little use of it through out the rest of the movie. Whilst some may not see this as much of a problem I actually found the lack of memorable tunes very disappointing and made the movie drag slightly.
What this all boils down to is that whilst for me "Wedding Crashers" is one of the better offerings from the current trend in outrageous comedies, I have no doubts that like all the others it will never stand the test of time. What for me makes this movie better than the countless others is that it has a storyline and whilst the emphasis is always on the laughs it doesn't ignore the importance of it. It also works for me because whilst Vince Vaughn is getting stuck into the comedy, Owen Wilson steps down a gear playing a more sensitive but still funny role. Of course "Wedding Crashers" is never going to appeal to everyone and it is primarily aimed at an under thirty audience with it's often use of toilet humour. But I would also say that to anyone who has become tired of the over the top predictability of this current trend in comedies may want to give this a watch as it does show that they can still be funny whilst having a plot.