A review of “Wedding Crashers” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: R for language, nudity, sexual situations

Run Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

 

 

The buzz has preceded Wedding Crashers like an angry gnat and this full-throttle guilty pleasure is worthy of the hype.

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn team up as serial players John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, randy divorce mediators who work the wedding season like it was their job.  It’s not the catered food or the witty repartee; the boys are in it to get laid. 

Following an iconic set of wedding crashing rules (“Never leave a fellow crasher behind”, etc.) John and Jeremy hone their craft with flamboyant flair. Their moves are artfully fashioned for maximum female impact; a dance with the flower girl, balloon animals for the junior wedding set or discussing the merits of charter membership in Oprah’s Book Club.

And it works; all of it.  A different wedding and a different bridesmaid every week.  Until the boys meet their match at the Kentucky Derby of weddings: Treasury Secretary William Cleary’s (Christopher Walken) baby girl getting hitched at the posh power party of the season.

Naturally the wedding is an emotional catastrophe.  Jeremy unwittingly hooks up with a “Stage 5 clinger” and John falls hard for the bride’s sister (Rachel McAdams as Claire), a sensitive social worker who’s saving the world one maladjusted child at a time.  When the pair find themselves at the family’s swanky ocean compound for the weekend it’s every man for himself.

Critically speaking Wedding is supremely flawed (sexual clichés, barbed homophobia, etc.) and somewhat long-winded.  But there’s no denying the rough-hewn charm of Wilson and Vaughn who chew it up rude and crude on the bumpy road to true love. 

Pic’s lengthy wedding montage is a classic of its genre -- sparkling with festive bonhomie and salacious gusto -- and the script a wacky pastiche of hits and misses that nonetheless yields loads of laughs.  Wilson has the smooth moves down cold but Vaughn is the real deal, a hunk of a cad with the gift of gab and a heart of gold buried on the down low.

Break out the bubbly and lace up your dancing shoes…