Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Wedding Crashers

dir. David Dobkin

One thing that can definately be said about "Wedding Crashers" is that for all you Vince Vaughn fans out there (I am one of them) this is by far his funniest and best performance. Vaughn's portrayal of thirty-something horn dog, Jeremy Klein, is one of those instant classic comedy characters that ranks right up there with the best. Vaughn has given some great performances in the past in movies such as "Swingers" and "Old School," but I truly believe that this is the one that tops them all. Just a simple delivery like "Jane, that was a great talk" will having you laughing so hard you won't even hear the next couple of minutes of dialouge. Vaughn has this inate ability to turn the simplest lines into comic gold, and that is the true mark of a comic genius in my book. Think Murray, Wilder, Lemmon, and Matthau; Vaughn deserves to be in that list, and his performance in "The Wedding Crashers" proves it.

So, with that in mind, it pains me to say that the rest of the movie is very hit or miss, and most of the time it's a miss. The first thirty minutes provide a good set-up. The "Shout" montage that Chris mentioned is absolutely phenomenal, but once they decide to crash the Secretary of Treasury's (a very subdued Christopher Walken) daughter's wedding, the movie takes a huge turn for the worse. What starts off as a very Non-Pc, rather humorous film turns into a romantic comedy that we have seen a million times.

After a few years of crashing weddings to sleep with as many girls as possible, Jeremey Klein and John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) are bound to hit a turning point. Hell, there wouldn't be a movie if they didn't I guess. And then of course, Beckwith will meet a girl he wants to do more than spend one night with. Of course, she's engaged to a one dimensional dick (Bradley Cooper), and Beckwith must first figure a way to get past him. Then of course he has to come clean with his true love (Rachel McAdams), and she will hate him at first. Beckwith will go into a stupor that will take up twenty minutes or so of film, and then will amazingly win her back with some heartfelt speech.

We've seen this movie many, many times, and we have seen this movie done much better in the past. To "Wedding Crashers" credit, and mostly thanks to Vaughn's subplot with his own twisted love affair, Isla Fisher, who does very well in her first major film role, the movie has some very funny moments. Unfortunately there are so many lame and boring sections of the film, that by the time you get to the genuinely funny moments it's hard to care.

Take how they misuse so many good actors. Bradley Cooper was outstanding on "Alias" and has also been good in comedies in the past, such as the underrated "Wet Hot American Summer," but here he is relegated to the role of the big bully. We don't really know why he's such a prick, but the movie doesn't care enough to let us know. We just have to have a character that is so freaking ridiculous that we don't mind Beckwith's checkered past. Beckwith becomes the lesser of the evils so he should hook up with Rachel McAdams I guess. Christopher Walken who could sound witty reading your phone bill to you is given such a downplayed role. It's like they wanted Walken for name recgonition, but didn't care enough to give him anything interesting to say or do. This is the man that turned "That's a lot of cows" a couple of years ago in "The Rundown" into the funniest line of that year. You couldn't give him one decent bit of dialouge. Will Ferrel has a throwaway cameo that is supposed to be funny because it's Will Ferrel. Will Ferrel is very funny, but Chaplin couldn't have done anything with this role.

So, while there were a few moments I almost spit my drink up from laughing so hard, it's really hard for me to reccomend this film. There are just so many better comedies to watch that why should I tell you to waste your time and money on this film. But like I said, it's hard to tell you to turn away if you love Vaughn, because he is just about the only thing holding this movie together. But if you can wait till cable, that's the route I would go.

Vince Vaughn - A+
The Movie - C


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