Wedding Crashers movie review, David Dobkin, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken, Will Ferrell. Review by Rob Blackwelder ©SPLICEDwire
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A scene from 'Wedding Crashers'
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"Wedding Crashers"
3 stars
119 minutes | Rated: R
WIDE: Friday, July 22, 2005
Directed by David Dobkin

Starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Summer Altice, Ivana Bozilovic, Keir O'Donnell, John G. Pavelec, Ned Schmidtke, Jane Seymour, Ellen Albertini Dow, Geoff Stults, Jennifer Alden, Larry Campbell, Will Ferrell

  • Weddings
  • David Dobkin
  • Owen Wilson
  • Vince Vaughn
  • Rachel McAdams
  • Christopher Walken
  • Will Ferrell

  •  LINKS for this film
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    Hackneyed ending takes the wind out of hilarious comedy about two con artists who are bullish on bridesmaids

    By Rob Blackwelder

    About 20 minutes before the credits roll in "Wedding Crashers," something goes very wrong. It feels as if a drunken script doctor stumbled into the party, demanded to know where all the clichés had gone and insisted they be put right back where they belong.

    Soon there are interrupted weddings, "I tried to tell you but couldn't" apologies and an avalanche of other plot machinations that come close to ruining what is otherwise the bawdiest, most consistently hilarious comedy so far this year.

    Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have an ad-lib-happy, almost Hope-and-Crosby-like chemistry as a pair of buddies -- ironically talented divorce mediators by profession -- who spend their free time attending weddings of people they don't know to score with girls they'll never see again. Almost the entire first reel of the movie is something akin to a filmmaking miracle -- one long, perfectly-tuned montage sequence of various ethnic weddings that just keeps getting funnier and funnier as it mixes toasts, dances, flirtations, made-up war stories, fake tears, and pretty girls caught up in the romance of the day and jumping our heroes' bones.

    Story proper kicks in when the boys dare to crash "the Kentucky Derby of weddings" -- the Secretary of State's eldest daughter is getting hitched -- and Wilson lays eyes on the middle daughter (talented, bright-eyed Everygirl knockout Rachel McAdams) as she's quietly snickering through her sister's corny self-written vows.

    Instantly smitten and hoping to woo her away from an unfortunately Hollywood-typical preppie snob boyfriend (Bradley Cooper), he finagles the pair a post-reception invite to join the family at their Hamptons estate. Vaughn gets dragged along much to his consternation, as he's been saddled with the youngest daughter (relative newcomer and born scene-stealer Isla Fisher), a perky-poo, clingy, sexually insatiable borderline psycho. "Don't ever leave me," she coos with her nose cutely crinkled, "...'cause I'd fiiind you."

    Reformed sitcom writers Steve Faber and Bob Fisher let loose with a slew of funny scenes -- the girls' frustrated lush of a mother (Jane Seymour) drops her top and comes on to Wilson, the girls' angry black-sheep brother (Ron Canada) drops trou and comes on to Vaughn, and there's a very uncomfortable booze-filled breakfast the next morning with the family's priest (Henry Gibson).

    These scenes are boosted by the savvy helming of David Dobkin (who directed Wilson in "Shanghai Knights" and Vaughn in "Clay Pigeons"), who knows when to get out of the way of his stars' sidesplitting deadpan performances. (The girls' politically powerful father, by the way, is played by Christopher Walken -- arguably the best actor in the world at finding the hidden amusement in sheer intimidation.)

    Dobkin also finds a good balance between the movie's often ribald humor and the unexpected earnestness of the central romance -- aided in no small part by Wilson's winkingly wicked charm and the irresistibly natural McAdams' gift for both yuks (her deleted scenes from "The Hot Chick" run rings around star Rob Schneider) and starry-eyed amour (she made the treacly "The Notebook" worth watching).

    But it's the Vaughn-Wilson chemistry that makes "Wedding Crashers" sing with consistent laughter. It's moments like the opening scene, in which they reign in an ugly fight between divorcees Dwight Yoakam and Rebecca DeMornay over custody of frequent flyer miles. It's their boredom and wedding experience leading to bets on whether or not a bride will cry or what Bible verse a bridesmaid will quote in a toast. It's the increasingly irritated glances they trade as Wilson drags out their chancy charade, and it's the hilarious left-field twist in Vaughn's attempts to escape the besotted sister's clutches.

    Unfortunately, the last act lets all the fresh air out of this tangy comedy and replaces it with formulaic tripe and lazy writing that insults the characters' intelligence (and the audience's as well), and even ignores some very basic plot points. The poor wrap-up isn't enough to ruin "Wedding Crashers," but it crosses the finish line with a pronounced limp.

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