It’s just too funny!
WEDDING CRASHERS is American Pie for grown-ups. Like the randy post-adolescents in the Pie movies, the emotionally stunted pair of 30-somethings in Wedding Crashers is the two-legged equivalent of female chasing canines! Jeremy Klein (Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Wilson), a pair of Washington divorce lawyers, specialise in a second practice that’s even more successful – a con game guaranteed to win them beautiful company.
They crash weddings, become the life of the party and charm everyone from the young to the old. It’s all a big charade, every bit of phoney niceness is designed to pluck the heartstrings of defenceless young women in heightened states of romanticism, only too willing to succumb to Jeremy’s fast-talking energy and John’s laconic, laidback charm.
The crasher philosophy? Single women are vulnerable during their family and friends’ nuptials and are looking for love, even if it’s just for one night. John and Jeremy work on their background stories and hone their parlour tricks for wedding season, the same way hunters iron their camouflage britches and practice their duck calls to prep for hunting season. They know that if they make a balloon animal for the kiddies, dance with the flower girl or reveal that they’re a member of Oprah’s book club, the chances of a post-wedding quickie improve exponentially.
The film wastes no time in getting to a hilarious montage of their crashing exploits, as they assume various fake names and backgrounds, and make themselves the stars of whoever’s wedding it is that they’ve invited themselves to. By the time each party is over, they’ve wooed incredibly beautiful women, who might normally not give them a second glance.
Their skills are really put to the test though when Jeremy sets his sights on the biggest wedding of the year, an exclusive bash that will see them rub shoulders with treasury secretary William Cleary (Walken) and the elite of society. It’s here Wilson discovers he’s not immune from love at first sight. His weakness shows when his eyes lock on the bride’s sister, Claire (McAdams).
His crush gets the game off balance and breaks the sacred rules of crashing. There’s something different about her, she’s wry, sarcastic and seems to see through all the pretension around her, apart from John’s. He convinces Jeremy to use their crashing powers to get an invite to the palatial home, where he continues to pursue her despite the presence of her old-money boyfriend and the watchful eye of her father. Jeremy stays, the code forbids him to bail on his buddy, even though he finds himself being stalked by the secretary’s sex crazed youngest daughter, Gloria (Fischer). One mishap leads to another, provoking the kind of laughs that’ll leave your jaw on the floor.
It’s nice to see that the ladies have been dealt the freedom to be funny, instead of being relegated to making the blokes seem more amusing. McAdams plays the funny, spunky, smart girl-next-door perfectly and Fischer gets the crazed-nymphomaniac-yet-still-sweet routine down to a tee.
Wilson’s stoner drawl and Vaughn’s snappy patter blend perfectly: they’re a comedy dream team and the film draws most of its energy from the interplay between them. The chemistry is pitch-perfect as Wilson, who nearly always appears as a whimsical, unfocused sort of guy, plays the soft-sell counterpart to Vaughn, the real star of the show.
Playing the more aggressive and self-righteous member of the team, Vaughn has found his ultimate role. His raving spiels and epic self-interest drive the movie to hilarious places. He’s hip even when he’s doing something completely uncool.
It’s the kind of comedy that both men and women are likely to go for – men for the crass jokes and exposed cleavage and women for the sweet romantic storyline blended in with them.
It’s a raunchy, dirty and morally reprehensible film, but what’s weird is that hidden beneath all the nudity is the soft, squishy core of a romantic, wide-eyed chick flick.
Both John and Jeremy are a couple of pushovers, which allows the film to be as depraved as it wants, without pigeonholing itself as another one of those cloned raunchy comedies. No matter how low they sink, at the end of the day, both are well intentioned and, though the film does a good job of hiding it, the thrust of the story is a rather naïve plot about finding someone to love.