Thursday, 9 April 2015

Film Review #76

Wedding Crashers (2005)
Director: David Dobkin Starring: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Bradley Cooper, Jane Seymour, Keir O'Donnell

Certificate: 15 Running Time: 119 Minutes

Tagline: "Life's a party. Crash it."

Any film that has the word 'wedding' in its title is generally one to be avoided in my experience. A narrow-minded view, perhaps, but most of them do tend to be somewhat generic, predictable rom-coms with little in the way of charm. This Wilson/Vaughn vehicle, however, could be one of the few exceptions to that rule, and a big part of the reason for that is down to it starring Wilson and Vaughn. They play John and Jeremy respectively, who are divorce mediators as well as long-time friends who are gearing up for their favourite time of year - the wedding season - a period they spend crashing weddings posing as distant relatives or old friends of someone-or-other. I suppose the lashings of free food and booze would be a big attraction to any party lover, but their main motivation for their favourite past time is to take advantage of the loved-up state of the various female guests.

These are reprehensible actions in the eyes of many, no doubt, but after a lengthy montage of 'the season' you can see the appeal, at least from their point of view. By the time it's finished, they are exhausted and content to reflect on another success and take it easy. That is, until Jeremy finds out that one of the daughters of the US Secretary of the Treasury, William Cleary (Walken) is getting married, and thus beckons the possibility of a very prestigious 'crash' with lots of classy totty. One thing neither of them expected, however, was to actually like their chosen quarry who just happen to be Secretary Cleary's other two daughters no less. Maintaining their cover stories in the face of a cautious father (Walken), flirty mother (Seymour), amorous brother (O'Donnell), and a suspicious boyfriend (Cooper) won't be easy.

One thing we needed, then, was a pair of girls who seem like they're worth the effort, and I think we got them in Claire (McAdams) and Gloria (Fisher). Both are gorgeous, obviously, but very different too. Claire is intelligent and classy but seemingly burdened by a serious, overbearing boyfriend who she is expected to marry, while Gloria is more or less the opposite - spoiled and immature, but impulsive and adventurous. In addition to their aesthetic qualities, they are also very likeable and well-matched to their respective suitors (Claire catches John's eye early on while Jeremy quickly 'digs' Gloria's brazen behaviour). Walken as their father is... well, Walken really - amusing and intimidating in equal measure, but he remains as watchable as ever, and everyone's favourite Hollywood granny, Ellen Albertini Dow, has a small but memorable role too.

Messrs Wilson and Vaughn are the stars here though - I imagine the film was created with them in mind and they're both great value as usual. Of the two, Vaughn stands out more - he gets a majority of the best lines and most of the best gags, with many of them played typically straight; I don't think he's ever been on better form to be honest. Of course, given the film's premise, much of the humour is a little on the sexist side, or at least politically incorrect, and the outcome is pretty predictable, as are most of the stops on the way to it, but as long as you're not a hardcore feminist, this is about as amusing and entertaining as wedding-related films get, and it's certainly the most rewatchable. Even Will Ferrell gets in on the action in a characteristically ridiculous cameo. One of my favourite 'Frat Pack' comedies so far.

RKS Score: 8/10


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