Wedding Crashers centres around two divorce mediators, John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), business partners, life-long friends and serial wedding crashers. It doesn’t matter what type of wedding it may be, the duo always find a way to become the hit of every reception, strictly adhering to the “rules of nuptial invading” to meet and pick up available female guests.
At the tail end of another winning season, Jeremy learns that the daughter of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) is getting married in what is sure to be the Washington DC social event of the year. After infiltrating the ceremony John and Jeremy set their sights on Claire (Rachel McAdams) and Gloria (Isla Fisher) William Cleary’s daughters.
Jeremy successfully seduces Gloria, but John hits a roadblock with Claire thanks to her pompous fiance (Bradley Cooper). Having uncharacteristically fallen hard for Claire, John convinces Jeremy to bend the crashing rules and accept an invitation to an extended weekend party at the Cleary family compound.
Wedding Crashers is the type of film that should have run about 90 minutes, long enough for director David Dobkin to exploit the main premise and fill it with the requisite amount of vulgar, juvenile comedy needed to satisfy those who laughed out loud despite themselves (including your’s truly) at Old School and Dodgeball.
However, Dobkin thinks that he has something more in Steve Faber’s and Bob Fisher’s screenplay, resulting in a comedy that runs a full two hours (about 30 minutes too long), has too many one-dimensional characters (Claire’s fiance, for one) and, in a move that could have proven fatal, starts to take itself a bit too seriously at times – not good for what is intended as a mindless summertime laugh.
But Dobkin has two aces up his sleeve in the form of the excellent Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. In possession of great comic timing and chemistry, the pair exchange one-liners with the precision of Wimbledon number one seeds, which helps you overlook the film’s deficiencies. How much of their banter originated from Faber’s and Fisher’s screenplay and how much was ad-libbed I don’t known, but it works very, very well.
The duo is supported by fine turns from a rather restrained Walken as Treasurer Cleary, and McAdams and Fisher as his daughters. A certain alumni of last year’s Starsky and Hutch pops up towards the end of the film, a brief cameo that is amusing but hardly memorable.
Since it is neither a remake of a television show, Japanese horror, mid-life American drama or a sequel, the makers of Wedding Crashers could lay claim to being the most original movie of the summer season. But while that is a scary thought, thanks to its two leads, Wedding Crashers is the funniest film I have seen all year. Well, appart from War of the Worlds, that is.