TBT: Wedding Crashers (2005)

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Throwback Thursday March-es on with the final entry of the month hitting on yet another comic note. Really, comedies are pretty easy to review for this feature since they make up a majority of what I have in my DVD collection. They lay strewn across my floor in front of my T.V. and very often I find myself weaving a path through them as I shuffle throughout my apartment. When nothing seemed to be standing out for this week, a white and red cover grabbed my attention and it was none other than another solid comedy featuring two actors who often find their contributions to comedy maligned, sometimes perhaps excessively so. Though I don’t deny the accusations of the pair becoming a predictable routine at this point, I cannot and will not hate on the chemistry that is quite evident between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Sure, their usage has been at times misjudged or mishandled. Such is the nature of what they’ve chosen to do this point in their careers; its a very hit and miss approach. And maybe they are more miss than hit, and so be it. Very similarly to a post I did last year, I think I’ll use this space to get on my high horse as I defend why I support a movie like 

Today’s food for thought: Wedding Crashers

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Release: July 15, 2005

[DVD]

If you are going to crash a wedding, you better do it with a Vince Vaughn who is in Swingers-mode and the other guy who looks like he’d be willing to throw back a shot with you even at the most inopportune of times. Yes indeed, if you happen to have the likes of Jeremy Grey (Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) in your midst you may well get your tickets to the boobs-‘n-booty show punched if you even so much as take a sip of their outrageous Kool Aid. Just don’t drink the other stuff, unless getting roofied is your sort of thing.

You might consider them, particularly Vaughn’s larger-than-life Jeremy, as a pair of frat guys who strategically and perpetually avoided growing up. That’s precisely who both of them were, and that’s precisely the lesson to be learned in Wedding Crashers. One needed only to mention the term ‘wedding season’ to witness them pitching tents in the crotch of their pants. They may have posed as divorce mediators at the film’s open, but off the clock (which is to say for the rest of the duration) they posed as anything but when in the presence of their other ‘clientele,’ single women they picked up at weddings. In their world of hard partying, ‘mazel tov’ may as well have meant ‘Hello’ and ‘get lost’ was translated as ‘I love you.’

David Dobkin followed up Shanghai Nights with this completely reckless and gleeful joyride that pit Vaughn and Wilson alongside one another as they assumed their most infectious roles to date. Other terms that might apply: sleazy; dishonest; desperate. Sure, those are all good, although they are largely dismissive of how good Vaughn and Wilson’s chemistry was here. Vaughn was the yang to Wilson’s comedic yin. Or the other way around; whatever, it still works.

Jeremy and John had become quite skilled in the art of the con, and with the latest season of festivities drawing to a close, Jeremy decided to raise the stakes and the thrills by crashing a major wedding event hosted by none other than U.S. Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken). It would be the last big hoorah of the year. His partner’s reluctance to dive in headfirst, however, caused Jeremy to question his commitment to the cause, perhaps even to their friendship.

And because this was a movie, John eventually caved and the next thing we knew we were waist-deep in politicians, pretense and another ridiculous scheme concocted by the two sex-fiends/lawyers. While the day was intended to honor Secretary Cleary’s daughter’s wedlock, neither she nor her husband-to-be were intended to be the focus. What ensued proved you can’t apply peanut butter without jelly: Vaughn and Wilson shared the screen so as to never really draw more attention to the other. In tandem, the two were fantastic, with Vaughn working his size and a very goofy, doe-eyed stare to his advantage while Wilson poured on the saccharine sweetness like they were molasses. Both had proved to be successful strategies in the weddings leading up to this. Would they be as successful with the women they inevitably meet at this spectacular occasion? Or would their hard-on for hard partying go flaccid right at the last second?

This raunchfest not only benefitted from the two great and energetic lead performances in Vaughn and Wilson, it featured an intensely humorous antagonist in Bradley Cooper’s break-out performance as Sack Large (yes, that indeed would make it Large Sack if ever to be written out on a legal document). Cooper at the time was convincing as this tough-guy jock who really had no interest in his girlfriend, Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams), other than to make her his trophy wife, but the character is so much funnier now when one pauses to consider how against-type he was playing. But he was not alone in the strong contributor category. A very strange man named Todd (played by Keir O’Donnell), the son of the prestigious William Cleary provided a great foil for Vaughn’s Jeremy as Jeremy reluctantly became entangled in the family with the excitable red-head woman he intended to one-night stand. Todd took affection to Jeremy and this side story offers up some of the film’s most painful guffaws.

Not forgetting the quality Will Ferrell cameo as Chazz, who was the notorious albeit deluded man who invented ‘the rules of wedding crashing,’ or the beautiful montage of half-naked women being bedded in the film’s earlygoing set to the classic celebratory song ‘Shout,’ Wedding Crashers has assured its place among the great raunchy comedies of modern day filmmaking. It has all the trademarks of a classic, in the interest of full (frontal nudity) disclosure.

With increasing numbers of people subscribing to the notion that the Vaughn-Wilson comedy vehicle has long since run out of gas, perhaps a revisiting of Wedding Crashers is in order, just to remind one’s self of why the pattern exists at all. Why have they been recycling themselves? What once worked really well that doesn’t so much anymore? It’s hard to imagine there being another Crashers-quality match-up between Vaughn and Wilson, even for this fan. 2005 spawned a comedy that simply hit all the right notes, romantic, comedic and otherwise.

Yes indeed, we have a stage-five clinger on our hands.

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3-5Recommendation: It’s a great reminder of the potential Vaughn and Wilson have on screen together. Having not reached a comedic level like it since, it’s easy to understand a lot of the complaints guided their way yet some of it seems excessive. Wedding Crashers sees the two in fine form, along with it bringing out sterling performances from a varied and deeply talented crew of comedians and comediennes. This one’s for anyone who ever said weddings can’t be fun. What a blast this procession is.

Rated: R

Running Time: 119 mins.

Quoted: “It’s the first quarter of the big game and you wanna toss up a Hail Mary! I’d like to be pimps from Oakland, or cowboys from Arizona, but it’s not Halloween. Grow up Peter Pan, Count Chocula. Look, we’ve been to a million weddings. And guess what, we’ve rocked them all!”

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Photo credits: http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.imdb.com

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21 thoughts on “TBT: Wedding Crashers (2005)

  1. Pingback: Burnt | digitalshortbread

  2. Great review, Tom. And totally agreed. I’ve oft wondered why Wilson and Vaughn were so hilarious in this and so awful in everything else. Is it just that it’s only possible to hit comedy gold once?

  3. Owen Wilson is all over the place eh? A favorite of Woody Allan and Wes Anderson! A man featuring in at least one comedy film a year consistently! The guy is a star who I’m still shocked to this day that he was attempting to end his life at one point! Or was that just a rumor? Anyways, point is, despite his resume being jam-packed, this is one of the top films I’ll always remember of his! Meaning that it was a damn good one! I’ll always remember Hall Pass as well, but that has more to do with it being an odd date I was on than anything else haha.

  4. I did like the film, though not as much as you. Some very funny moments, especially the scene where they play American football. I thought the scene when the mum tries to seduce him could easily have been written out though. I forgot Bradley Cooper was in this! It really does have a great cast.

    • hahah Brad Cooper seems to be forgotten here! Tsk-tsk! 😀 He was probably one of my favorite aspects of this movie. He was utterly ridiculous and so against-type. Wedding Crashers is a brand of humor that I really do enjoy but I see it not being quite as excellent to others. It’s a raunchy movie and a lot of the same stuff Vaughn and Wilson do (worse) in today’s movies are evident here in this one, only the material they have to work with is better.

  5. Oh why couldn’t this be the beautiful start of something so much greater!?!… Great review for a great flick.. if only their bromance continued successfully.

    • I’ll definitely say they are shadows of their former selves these days, even though I managed to enjoy The Internship. I just wish they dared to not be in the same movie with one another for once, and if they do that that they don’t mistake being on their own for an excuse for being in another shit movie just to collect a paycheck. I know that’s exactly what Vaughn did in the Delivery Man (that pile of garbage I will never see). Whatever, it is what it is. God bless these people for figuring out really easy ways of making money. Isn’t that the American dream?

    • Very good man, very good. Wedding Crashers is filled with the kind of macho spirit I love in movies! haha it may be a misogynistic one, but hey. I’m just glad there’s a wedding movie that isn’t all sappy and romantic. Even if it trends that way just a tad towards the end. Vaughn and Wilson together are wonderful and yes, Ferrell as well. I loved pretty much everyone involved here. Even Jane Seymour is great here with her whole “Kitty Kat” routine lol

  6. I always thought this was a funny movie. Actually, this coupled with the likes of Old School etc actually made me think Vince Vaughn was funny. Then I realised he wasn’t. At all. haha

    • I dont’ think I can argue with that point man, Vaughn may never have been better than he is here. He’s a hoot. So is Wilson. This movie proves these two can work together if the material is strong enough. I was one of the few who liked The Internship but even I say that stuff was not as good as this.

    • I know, they definitely have not been handed the right material in a long time. I’m still one of the few who still enjoy them. I liked The Internship, though everyone else hated it haha. Thanks!

  7. Nice review. I have to say besides the Will Ferrell cameo, I didn’t really find Wedding Crashers funny, though I know I’m in the minority. I completely forgot Bradley Cooper was in the movie.

    • Brad Cooper is hilarious in this I thought. A very different role for him indeed. Thanks for reading man.

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