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WEDDING CRASHERS

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour
Director: David Dobkin
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: New Line Cinema
Features: See Review
Length: 128 Minutes
Release Date: January 3, 2006

“We got three really big weeks ahead of us...IT’S WEDDING SEASON, KID!”

Film ***1/2

There are several movie premises that have you laughing way before you even see the movie. The notion couldn’t be proven more true in the case of Wedding Crashers, which has Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn playing a couple of committed womanizers who crash weddings to meet and sleep with as many bridesmaids as humanly possible. And the end result is not only the year’s funniest movie, but one of the funniest movies in recent years.

And with this film Wilson and Vaughn, after years of noticeable supporting work, finally get recognized as the next great comedy duo. Rarely have I seen two actors play off one another so flawlessly in a comedy. Since these two are heavy improvisers, which makes their chemistry even more riveting and energetic.

The first 15 minutes of the movie contain some of the most exuberantly funny and risqué qualities that so many comedies have been missing due to studio pressure to get a PG-13 rating (good thing we had this and The 40 Year Old Virgin to revive the R rated comedy). It’s one of the finest openings I’ve seen in any movie, let alone a comedy, as we are treated to a montage of the crashing shenanigans of divorce mediators/professional wedding crashers John Beckwith (Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vaughn), who search for certain aroused prey as wedding season dawns.

After their relentless crashing, John is ready to take a breather, until Jeremy informs him of one last wedding which he labels the Kentucky Derby of weddings. It just so happens that the Treasury Secretary, William Cleary (Christopher Walken, in a rare gentle performance) is about to give away one of his three daughters. Since he admires Cleary from a business standpoint, John decides to give in one last crash for the season.

Upon crashing the wedding, the two get way more than they bargained for. What seems like a typical crashing scenario becomes way more than such as the two become attached to Cleary’s other two daughters. Jeremy makes a mistake in seducing youngest daughter, Gloria (Isla Fisher), who turns out to be an insane stalker, while John finds himself falling head over heels for Claire (the luminous Rachel McAdams).

Their crashing plans also take a nosedive as the two are invited to the Cleary family house for the weekend. This is much to Jeremy’s disappointment, since he’d like nothing more than to rid himself of the psycho-stalker he’s become prey to, but John can’t help but want to be around Claire, who turns out is getting married to an incredible lout. In addition, John becomes victim of intense flirting by way of the Treasury Secretary’s wife (Jane Seymour).

I don’t want to go any further because doing so would ruin so many hilarious gags and story developments that are best enjoyed through discovery. All I can say is that you simply can’t help but laughed and be thoroughly entertained by this hilarious and romantically charming romp of a movie. And if you are a huge fan of Vince Vaughn, which I’ve been ever since his one-of-a-kind debut in Swingers, you will get more than your money’s worth, as the relentlessly funny actor delivers some of his best work ever here.

And a surprise pop up appearance from a certain someone late in the movie provides even more insane laughs.

Without question, Wedding Crashers is the funniest film of 2005. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn have solidified their place as the new comedy dream team. Thanks to the movie’s huge success, there’s no doubt that we will be seeing much more of them in the future, hopefully together again!

Video ****

New Line serves up a terrifically flawless video presentation with this release. The anamorphic picture is nothing but crisp quality and pure clarity. Colors are nothing short of fantastic, and the all around visual detail is as superb as anyone could ask for.

Audio ***1/2

The 5.1 mix delivers the goods in amazing ways for what is essentially a dialogue-driven comedy. The standout point is the opening montage, backed up with many music numbers (especially a riotous performance of the classic song, “Shout!”). In addition, dialogue is delivered in outstandingly clear form, and several sequences of physical comedy (most notably a hilarious quail hunting scene) result in moments of tremendous sound quality.

Features ****

What a way to start off the New Year! New Line ups their Platinum Series game with this extended “Uncorked” edition. The disc includes the Unrated version as well as the original Theatrical version (The Unrated cut runs nine minutes longer). Included are two commentary tracks; one with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, and the second with director David Dobkin. Also included are two behind the scenes featurettes, The Rules of Wedding Crashing, Deleted Scenes, a soundtrack spot and trailers for this and other New Line releases.

Summary:

Wedding Crashers is a pure revitalization of the extreme R rated comedies that have been missing for so long. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn make their mark as the next big comedy duo with this crowd pleasing, gut busting romp. Crash and enjoy!

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