Sunday, July 17, 2005

REVIEW: Wedding Crashers

The first thing I took notice of in "Wedding Crashers" was that, right off the bat in the first few minutes of the film, it goes and uses up it's alotted PG-13 comedy single-use "F-bomb." Then, a few minutes later, I was surprised (along with, it seemed, much of the audience) by the welcome appearance of actual onscreen female nudity. The initial spotting of the first confirmed "bare pair" was greeted with a round of audience applause, myself included, as it seemed we were all having an "oh, duh!" moment at once: It wasn't a PG-13 like we've mostly expected every single "guy" comedy to be for the longest time. We weren't going to have to wait for the special unrated DVD. An honest-to-goodness R-rated bare-boobs sex comedy... it's about freaking time.

This much you know from the trailers: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are lifelong pals who've perfected the art of bedding bridesmaids by conning their way into weddings. Their scheming catches up with them, though, when they infiltrate the nuptials of the obviously-supposed-to-be-the-Kennedys family of Treasury Secretary Cleary (Christopher Walken) and wind up "attached" to his remaining single daughters. Specifically, Wilson gets them dragged along to the Cleary vacation home after being smitten by Claire (Rachel McAdams) while Vaughn has become the fixation of possibly-insane nymphomaniac Gloria (Isla Fisher.)

So there's your movie: Too funny actors with good chemistry digging themselves into an ever-deepening charade among a wealthy, eccentric family. Complications arise from mistaken identities, Walken's protective-papa, a foul-mouthed matriarch and the revelation of Claire's super-evil blueblood fiancee-to-be. There's no use pretending that you can't guess how things will end up, who will be revealed as the main villian, how and when the truth will come out, who will have a change of heart and what lessons will be learned, or anything else. This is situation-comedy as a genre exercise, and what matters isn't how "original" the structure is or isn't, it's how well the jokes land.

Simple answer: They land well. The movie is damn, damn, damn funny in all the ways a movie like this should be. No, it never quite hits the levels of absurdity that, say "Bachelor Party" did, but it's a riot while it's playing.

Alot of it works just because it's willing to go full-out with it's jokes and it's hooks: Freed from any desire to be available to a younger audience, the jokes are loosed for all they're worth. The evil-fiancee isn't just a toad, he's a downright monster who means to hurt people and does.. in other words an actual threat. The "naughty" parts are really naughty, and it's all really funny.

Beyond that, there's not too much more to report on: This isn't really about any kind of complicated reasoning for liking or disliking the movie. It's funny, I liked it, go see it.

FINAL RATING: 8/10