- David Dobkin
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Monday, October 03, 2005
As expected from any young man who devotes himself to such an ultimately heartless hobby, John suddenly reevaluates his life. Why is he doing this? It seems pointless when all is said and done, and even though there’s so much fun to be remembered, nothing really palpable comes of it. Jeremy is way more cynical and immature, and he convinces John to crash a goldmine wedding: that of the daughter of U.S. Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken).
Once there, as if in an amazing coincidence given John’s recent reflections, he’s spellbound at first sight by one of the bride’s sisters, Claire (Rachel McAdams). Jeremy, on the other hand, falls in lust with the youngest, a fiery redhead called Gloria (Isla Fisher). They are the usual selves during the party, with John catching the attention of the girls’ adulterous mother (Jane Seymour) and gaining the respect of their father (Walken); Claire is harder to get because she has a boyfriend (Bradley Cooper). In the meantime, Jeremy scores with Gloria, but is immediately freaked out by her sudden obsession. It all gets worse when she invites them to spend the weekend with the family, which John propitiates to get closer to Claire.
I don’t think the filmmakers’ intention was ever to create anything more than an average comedy, but somehow they struck gold with a story that touches many heartfelt subjects and does so credibly. It’s easy to love these characters and root for them, and somehow, despite the constantly superficial treatment, we keep caring and rooting. Because, let’s face it, the story isn’t all that well developed. Lots of important things happen off-screen, lots of juicy characters are wasted, and lots of interesting subplots are treated like comedy relieves. In other words, this is no The Family Stone (2005).
But somehow, just somehow, something magical happens here. You get to care so much you never want the movie to end. As many laughs work as those that don’t, but you still want to stick. Some humor is crude or embarrassing, some scenes are too violent, some characters are over-the-top, but you still want to believe it could happen. It’s really worth a look.
Take the dinner scene, for instance. Some of the funniest situations happen there, with Gloria going nuts with her hand under the table, or the mean grandmother (Ellen Albertini Dow) speaking her mouth at every turn. However, Walken and Seymour are wasted in the scene (and throughout), and nothing truly changes there. It’s just for the laughs and takes a long while. But still it’s pleasant. I don’t know… It’s just hard to describe what exactly works about it and what exactly does not.
The performances are excellent, which helps a lot. Wilson doesn’t innovate that much but he’s credible. Vaughn surprises with his sincerity and evolution. McAdams is as sweet as an angel, Fisher irresistible, and Keir O’Donnell bizarre but affecting in the small role of the weird brother.
While I got to care about John and Claire, I ended up much more interested in Jeremy and Gloria, by the way. That’s not a bad thing. I loved how wacky they both are and how she gets him into trouble and what the final result is. The confrontation scene with the whole family is priceless. I also loved that crazy character towards the end, Chazz Reinhold the wedding crasher mentor (played by a famous comedian as a cameo), and how his subplot served both for the laughs and for an eye-opening effect. I had a hell of a time with this movie.
“I'm not perfect, but who are we kidding, neither are you.”
Gon C Curiel en Twitter | CriticSociety en Twitter | CriticSociety en Facebook
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter
Other reviews of Wedding Crashers (2005): Morris
- David Dobkin
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Tuesday, July 18, 2006
John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) are friends who love to crash weddings. They have a theory, which actually pays off for them, that single women are vulnerable in weddings, so they can take advantage of that and get laid. Besides, there’s free booze, good music and a lot of fun all around! But it all changes when they attend the wedding of one of the daughters of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken). John is instantly smitten by another daughter, Claire (Rachel McAdams), while Jeremy gets lucky with the only one left, Gloria (Isla Fisher). They are then invited to their house for a private gathering, where they get to know the wacky family a little bit better.
The movie is a mixed bag all around. There are as many things that work as there are that simply don’t. The structure of the movie is divided in three parts, two of which I described in the premise. The movie starts with a bang. It introduces us to our heroes and the laughs don’t stop coming. There’s also a brilliant montage to the tune of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” which is expertly done and completely effective. After that, the middle part arrives and the energy sort of lags, even though the biggest laugh of the movie (at least for me and the audience I saw it with) happens here and involves certain under-the-table shenanigans. And just when you thought the movie didn’t have much more to offer, some ridiculous and clichéd plot complications arise and a whole third section unravels. By then the movie has definitely run out of gas. And the over-the-top finale doesn’t help.
Still, I have to admit something: even though it clicks at two hours (definitely a lot for a comedy) I didn’t want the movie to end! I had become so comfortable with the characters (hit-and-misses aside) that I wanted to spend more time with them. I guess that’s the secret of the movie’s success after all. It sure isn’t a perfect movie, but it has its heart in the right place, has likable characters and is a really good time. ‘Nuff said.
This is an R-rated movie, not a PG-13 one as movies of the genre usually try to achieve. And I loved it! We get to see some nudity, a lot of politically-incorrect humor and really foul language. We are also subject to a rather violent scene (which is part of a sequence involving a party that could have been entirely cut out... and it must have cost a lot of money to make!) courtesy of Claire’s fiancée (Bradley Cooper), a character so badly exaggerated that it borders on the caricature side. However, a scene involving this same character later on brought the audience I saw it with to cheers and applause, something I have rarely witnessed in my life.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn have definitely a funny rapport together. In the movie Wilson plays the straight guy to Vaughn’s craziest. And the latter is quite hilarious, although he is not that consistent, but when he gets it, he’s a riot. Rachel McAdams, on the other hand, is the highlight as has become the norm lately. She’s adorable, the only sane character in the movie and the single one we actually care about. Christopher Walken goes less wacko and does a good, if forgettable, job. Isla Fisher is annoying at times, but I did find her amusing mostly. Jane Seymour and Ellen Albertini Dow, as Walken’s wife and mother respectively, are a welcome presence, although they only have a couple of scenes to shine and are wasted overall. Oh, and a not-surprising cameo by one of the usual-usual of these comediennes’ team is not that good.
Funny, if disposable, entertainment.
“We lost a lot of good men out there.”
CriticSociety en Twitter | CriticSociety en Facebook
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter
Other reviews of Wedding Crashers (2005): Groucho