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Wedding Crashers

Anyone walking out of Wedding Crashers unhappy this weekend needs to have their pulse checked.

David Dobkin, the director responsible for so-so outings with both Clay Pigeons and Shanghai Knights, offers a one-two punch that delivers in everyway possible, and then some. The movie centers on a pair of debauchery prone bachelors named John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Klein (Vince Vaughn). Both John and Jeremy look forward to wedding season the way a child looks forward to Christmas, eager to open the bounty of gifts awaiting them each year.

Dobkin has worked with both Vaughn and Wilson before in the past, but getting both of these two actors together on screen produces a chemistry no one could’ve predicted. In fact, it’s similar to the type of chemistry that aided another Vaughn pairing, with Luke WIlson in Old School. This time out the results are even more successful.

The shallow sexist premise employed is the perfect setup for Vaughn, who excels in roles such as this. His turn in Swingers is the stuff of legend as far as awkward buddy roles are concerned, and his turn here just about rivals good ole’ Trent. He oozes evil and danger at times, while mixing said traits with the outright bizarre. Vaughn’s natural zest and appeal both captivates and repulses alike. You hate the guy at times, but you just can’t help but want to see more of him.

Opposite the bad boy Vaughn is the far smoother Wilson, whose nickname Butterscotch Stallion seems to be placed into context here. He is just as much the B.S. artist that Vaughn is, but in a far more mannered and polite matter. It’s only a matter of time before his John begins questioning his own actions. He’s in for more than the quick score, although he isn’t really complaining along the way.

Anyone who has seen the trailer knows the setup. John and Jeremy are brilliant schmoozers specializing in the exploitation of needy single bridesmaids at the weddings of complete strangers. They practice an ancient art of crashing weddings uninvited, and proceeding to become the life of the party, all the while marketing themselves to eager and beautiful women with their every move. Their system is that of a doctrine, passed down to Jeremy from a mysterious sage-like mentor named Chaz.

Things are going swimmingly for the dynamic duo of hook ups until the mother of all weddings happens to fall into their laps unexpectedly. The season is technically over, but Jeremy feels that crashing the wedding of Christina Cleary (Jennifer Alden), the daughter of respected Senator Cleary (Christopher Walken), could be just the thing needed to snap John out of his funk.

John has been questioning the direction his life has been taking as of late. He’s not as young as he used to be, yet he has been reduced to meaningless romps with women whose names he forgets the moment he’s gotten what he’s wanted out of them.

It must be tough.

Naturally these developments promise conflicts that will pit the crashers against one another, however somehow the developments play out in a bit more genuine fashion than one would expect from a film such as this. There are a few oddball roles thrown in for good measure, including an awkward younger brother of John’s spoken for love interest, Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams). This character, Todd Cleary (Keir O’Donnell), becomes the butt of many jokes revolving around sexual preference.

Sure, it would be easy enough to dismiss this film as offering nothing new to the genre, but that would be a grave mistake. Somehow, Dobkind manages to maintain a hard r-rated adult comedy, at a time when political correctness and consideration continues to pull comedies of this ilk into maintaining some form of accessibility factor with younger audience.

Wedding Crashers has plenty of opportunities to stumble into the clichés that so often plague this genre. In fact, the film seems to be heading in just such a direction towards the close of the third act, but somehow manages to regain composure and turn the cliché on its ear, well, sort of.

Dobkin and writers Steve Faber and Bob Fisher never seem to break stride or pull punches, and midway through the first act you may find yourself realize that even other recent “so-called” adult comedies have fallen prey to the trend of favoring the safer, younger demographic market.

So if you don’t mind crude and crass behavior, side-splitting laughs, and F-bombs galore, get thee to the cinema. You’ll be glad you did.


Mario Anima

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