Here comes the bride

Ben Breier

‘Wedding Crashers’ is something borrowed, nothing new

Credit: Beth Rankin

Wedding Crashers, a film that tells the tale of divorce negotiators Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as they crash weddings and party it up, is easily this summer’s Old School. If you didn’t like Old School, you should stop reading this review now — Wedding Crashers won’t force you into the genre of gratuitously tacky humor, but it will definitely accommodate those who love films such as American Pie, Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.

Vaughn and Wilson take on the roles of divorce mediators John Beckwith and Jeremy Klein. Typically, these two are found in their office, working on various divorce cases. However, when wedding season hits, the men go absolutely nuts in an attempt to crash a multitude of weddings and bang as many chicks as possible.

The movie begins with a flashbulb sequence of the guys crashing half a dozen weddings, which consumes the brunt of the first 20 minutes of the film. It really doesn’t contain much, save for quick shots of the guys partying with people they don’t know and unnecessary clips of boobies at seemingly random moments.

After the initial display of attention deficit disorder, Beckwith and Klein discover the wedding of the year to crash — the one Secretary Treasurer William Cleary (played by Christopher Walken) is throwing for his daughter. Needless to say, Beckwith and Klein make it their goal to be there.

Thankfully, when the Cleary wedding begins, the comedy picks up the pace as well. After some initial schmoozing with the family, which involves Klein having sex with the virgin Cleary daughter Gloria (Isla Fisher), on a nearby beach, the afterparty is moved to the Cleary private estate, where John and Jeremy are forced to deal with some good ol’ family dysfunction.

While John is off solidifying his love for Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams of Mean Girls), Jeremy is tied down and gagged with his own nasty sock by Gloria, and nearly raped by the Cleary family’s homosexual artistic misfit, Todd.

The acting is great — with Vaughn and Wilson delivering some one-liners that will certainly be repeated by drunken freshmen at fraternity parties for years to come. However, Wedding Crashers suffers from a bevy of flaws, the largest of which is predictability.

Even though summer comedy flicks aren’t supposed to entertain you with a branching plot line of epic proportions, it’s almost like Wedding Crashers doesn’t even try.

From the second the boys even begin to talk about the Cleary wedding, you’re immediately aware that this is going to be different than any of the other weddings that they’ve ever been to.

The moment that Claire catches John sitting in a pew during the wedding, you know that the relationship between these two is going to set up the central conflict of the movie. It’s clear that the directors were banking on audiences to be laughing hysterically to the point where they forgot about the barely-existing plot.

Christopher Walken was also a disappointment. As soon as Walken made his first appearance in the movie, I was getting excited to see him embrace the screen with the dark, strange and sarcastic humor that the man has been known for. Instead, Walken is a bit of a bore in Wedding Crashers — I don’t think he made me laugh a single time.

It’s very possible that Wedding Crashers will be the best comedy released all summer. If you’re looking for something as funny as Old School or There’s Something About Mary, Wedding Crashers comes up just a little bit short. At least Mary managed to keep audiences entertained during the non-comedic portions, which is something that Wedding Crashers failed to do. R.S.V.P. to this Wedding with reservation.

Contact general assignment reporter Ben Breier at [email protected].