August 14, 2005

Wedding Crashers: Guys Movie Night

The latest Guys Movie Night feature is the funniest movie I have seen since the last Wilson/Vaughn/Ferrell movie, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy. Wedding Crashers is easily the funniest Vince Vaughn performance to date. Vaughn and Wilson play slightly aging bachelors who have transformed wedding crashing into an art. Vaughn is obsessed with quality appetizers and exotic sexual encounters, while Wilson starts wondering if their all sex, no substance lifestyle is meaningless. When they crash the wedding of a Cabinet member's daughter, they both get much more than they bargained for. Neck deep in WASP dysfunction, Vaughn and Wilson fall for two of the bride's sisters: Vaughn's redhead target (Isla Fisher) turns out to be even more crazy than he is, and Wilson becomes smitten with Claire (Rachel McAdams), who's stuck in an engagement with a cruel, brutish snob (Bradley Cooper). In previous Vince Vaughn comedies, his screen time (and laugh potential) is diluted by an ensemble cast (Old School, Dodgeball). In Wedding Crashers, his machine-gun delivery of brutally frank sex strategizing is undiluted and overpowering. Owen Wilson is a better counterpart for Vaughn than his brother Luke was in Old School.weddingcrashers

The sex jokes come hard and fast, with only a few totally juvenile missteps. The caricatured "crazy mean grandma" and "black sheep/gay/tortured artist son" aren't as funny as the rest of the movie. Christopher Walken, as the father of the bride and bridesmaids, strikes just the right tone without going over the top. In a piece of casting-against-type genius, Jane Seymour plays the drunken matriarch, who lures Wilson into a too-close dance, forces him to try out her newly-lifted breasts, and confesses that she has been faithful to her husband for 3 of their 30 years of marriage.

By the way, Owen Wilson, at age 37, looks a little old for the stoner-surfer shag haircut? The lines under his eyes are getting more noticeable these days...

THEATER NOTES: This was a Guys Movie Night where only two guys made it inside the theater. Angus and I arrived early enough to snag seats in the sold-out show, but our friends Phil and Sandor were shut out. Just as the movie was starting, Phil called from the lobby. I unwisely advised him to "just buy a ticket for something else and sneak into the theater- I am sure you can find a seat!" Thankfully he did not take my advice as the theater was packed. (July 29, Loews Boston Common; August 14, Showcase Cinemas Woburn)