“On the whole, and much like a ‘Wedding’ itself, ‘Crashers’ isn’t a bad time. It starts to get a little boring near the end – much like a reception, after the speeches are said and done and so on – but has such likeable hosts that you can’t help but keep watching” – Clint Morris
Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Jane Seymour, Isla Fisher, Bradley Cooper
Fling the Confetti, Cue the Organ, widen the smile, and congratulate them on their way down the gangway…. We’re gathered here today to re-unite Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
The critics moan and groan – obviously tired of these high-concept mildly humorous comedy team-ups – be it Wilson and Vaughn, Vaughn and Stiller, Wilson and Stiller, Ferrell, Stiller and Vaughn and so on – but here’s the thing: your name was never on the guest list anyway, and the caterers haven’t prepared for you, so, um, forever hold your peace. In short: This bouquet’s being thrown at the common Joe, not Joe reviewer.
With Ben Stiller out buying a bottle of black hair dye, Owen Wilson has Vince Vaughan be the sidekick proxy in the effervescent new comedy – and the change in guard is as welcome as a sweet-smelling kitty litter tray.
The former is John and the latter’s Jeremy – together, they regularly crash weddings. Regardless of the race throwing the wedding – be it Jewish, Italian, Irish, Chinese, Hindu – they always intermingle into the revelry giving wild speeches, charming the guests, and romancing their women.
At the tail end of another thriving season of toasting brides and grooms, Jeremy learns that the offspring of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) and his wife Kathleen (Jane Seymour) is getting married in what is sure to be the Washington, D. C. social event of the year. After infiltrating the lavish affair, John and Jeremy quickly set their sights on bridesmaids Claire (Rachel McAdams) and Gloria (Isla Fisher) Cleary.
Quickly falling deeply in love with Claire, John convinces Jeremy to stay at the family’s palatial waterfront estate for the weekend. It’s there that they get a lesson or two about love and life, and have a profusion of heretical run-ins with the dysfunctional Cleary clan.
Like any of their other efforts together – or with regular cohorts Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller or Jack Black –Vaughn and Wilson’s latest is pretty much as anticipated. It has a couple of great laughs, some high-spirited performances, but on the whole, is a pretty thin yarn. Like many of the funnymen’s other efforts, the jokes become few and far between, and by the film’s middle it tends to get a little monotonous. As soon as we reach the moment in Steve Faber and Bob Fisher’s screenplay where John falls for Claire – the jokes stop, and the banal mushy third-act kicks in.
On the plus side though – it’s Wilson and Vaughn, and they’re always a blast to watch. Wilson’s essentially the straight-man here, so doesn’t get as much to do, but Vaughan’s a riot – seemingly channelling his “Swingers” character in a few spots and playing it welcomingly over-the-top. In the support roles, Rachel McAdams (“The Notebook”) is a little out-of-place (she looks like she’s walked off the set of a poignant romantic drama and onto a T’n’A comedy clunker) and shares no chemistry with on-screen love interest Wilson, but she’s still adorable as hell and for the most part, does the trick. Better is Australian actress Isla Fisher [“Home and Away”] stealing scenes as the nymphomaniac senator’s daughter who clings to Vaughn. Fisher’s done wonders with a role that might otherwise have been unexceptional and easily forgotten in another actors hands.
Funnily enough, it’s Will Ferrell, in an over-the-top cameo as a veteran Wedding (and Funeral) Crasher that’s the film’s low point – his appearance falls flat, and his embroidered performance just steers the film off-course.
On the whole, and much like a ‘Wedding’ itself, ‘Crashers’ isn’t a bad time. It starts to get a little boring near the end – much like a reception, after the speeches are said and done and so on – but has such likeable hosts that you can’t help but keep watching.
DVD extras include several new scenes (mostly, which should excite lads, bonus nudie bits), Wilson, Vaughn and [Director, Dave] Dobkin providing light and enjoyable commentaries, there’s also some deleted scenes, numerous featurettes, a music video and more. Not a bad assortment.
Reviewer : Clint Morris
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