Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers

2005, R, 119 min. Directed by David Dobkin. Starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Isla Fisher.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., July 15, 2005

Much has been made of Wedding Crashers’ bid to reinvigorate the R-rated comedy, a genre that’s lain mostly dormant since There’s Something About Mary. Wedding Crashers will no doubt make buckets of money, but it’ll do so without half the wit, compassion, or inspired madness of Mary. Wilson and Vaughn play John Beckwith and Jeremy Klein, lifelong friends and partners in a D.C.-based divorce mediation firm. Given their profession, it’s no shock that they’re both a little leery of love. They choose instead to live in perpetual playboyland, and the wedding season is like Christmas in July for them. But all their rules are broken (and yes, they have a set of rules, some of them very funny) when they crash a high-profile politico wedding. John falls for the maid of honor, Claire Cleary (McAdams), while Jeremy falls into a Fatal Attraction-like dalliance with Claire’s nutjob sister, Gloria (Fisher). The plot does backflips to get the two men stranded on the Cleary family’s Kennedy-esque island compound – just one in a string of needling logistical leaps. Kookiness ensues, but it’s mostly cookie-cutter stuff – Bob Fisher and Steve Faber’s script boasts old chestnuts like diarrhea, a salty gramma, and a hunting trip gone awry. Vaughn, in a role just once-removed from his breakout performance in Swingers, most consistently brings the laughs with his frequent motor-mouth monologues that are a riot of sex jokes and non sequiturs (watch where he goes with maple syrup). But Wilson, playing straight man, is a dud, badly straddling the twin demands of his part: sleaze and sincerity. Sleaze mostly wins out. As for sincerity, it’s hard to take seriously an actor whose eyes are but half-slits most of the movie. Keep an eye on the eyes of all the men here – they’re a bloodshot bunch. It’s hard to blame them, really – a stiff drink or maybe some pharmaceutical assistance might have made me overlook the film’s sour tone, or the unremarkableness of its direction (helmer Dobkin shows none of the nuance of his underrated debut, Clay Pigeons), or its bewildering characterizations of sexuality and race (gays and blacks are represented, respectively, by a squirrelly psychotic and a Jamaican house servant). I predict a long and fruitful future for Wedding Crashers – buckets of money – but by my count, it doesn’t just crash, it burns.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More David Dobkin Films
The Judge
This drama starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall sounds better on paper than it is in practice.

Marjorie Baumgarten, Oct. 10, 2014

The Change-Up
In this body-switcheroo movie, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman star as pals each a little envious of the other's life.

Kimberley Jones, Aug. 5, 2011

More by Kimberley Jones
We Grown Now
Two boys come of age in the Cabrini-Green housing project

April 26, 2024

A Beloved Birthday, Dragon Boats, and More Recommended Events for the Week
A Beloved Birthday, Dragon Boats, and More Recommended Events for the Week
Get out before the heat descends

April 26, 2024


Wedding Crashers, David Dobkin, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Isla Fisher

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle