Wedding Crashers is a film about the relationships between a bunch of people. The most obvious is the one between our main character, John (Owen Wilson), and the object of his affection, Claire (Rachel McAdams). However, there is also one between John and his best friend, Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), the man he crashes weddings with. Jeremy has a woman named Gloria (Isla Fisher) who is obsessed with him. Claire already has a boyfriend, Zack (Bradley Cooper), while both Claire and Gloria, along with their brother, Todd (Keir O’Donnell), have a relationship to develop with their father, the Secretary of the Treasury for the United States (Christopher Walken).
As you can see, there are a lot of relationships to follow. It’s actually a good thing that Wedding Crashers includes so many, as it means that we’re rarely, if ever, bored. Sure, much of the film is routine, but because we’re always following one relationship or another, we are distracted from this fact. We don’t care that we eventually fall into traditional rom-com territory, as we’re involved enough in the story to ignore that. There’s a real heart here, and it helped me to ignore the problems that plague the movie.
The basic idea with Wedding Crashers is that our pair of men are wedding crashers, people who enter weddings while uninvited, enjoy the free food and drink, and hope to get one of the single women into bed that night. They’ve got it down to a science, having no trouble with it. They’re eventually invited to the wedding of one of the Treasury Secretary’s daughters, and it’s here where they meet their match. John falls for Claire, Jeremy is clung onto by Gloria, and the pair, posing as brothers, is invited to the wealthy family’s weekend house.
It’s here where the majority of the film takes place. We watch John’s attempts to get with claire, Jeremy’s to get away from Gloria, Zack being a nasty jerk, and the rest of the cast furthering or hindering these situations. Admittedly, there are also a few off-color jokes scattered throughout — this is a comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, after all — but at its core it’s a film about its relationships.
Some of Wedding Crashers made me laugh. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn aren’t my favorite comedic actors, but they’re funny enough here. Bigger fans will have more laughs, I’m sure. The raunchy comedy was somewhat effective, and some of the straighter jokes were kind of enjoyable, even if there were points when I had to place my forehead on my palm. There are a few moments that fall completely flat in a “what were they thinking?” kind of way, but for the most part I watched with something resembling a smile on my face.
There are a lot of clichés thrown into the mix, but do you expect otherwise? This is a mainstream romantic comedy, and if you go in expecting it to differ from the norm, you’re asking for too much. Like I said earlier, it’s easy to ignore the problems because of how much it does well and because its heart is in the right place, but they’re still there and after the film ends, you’ll realize them. If you laughed enough, you might be able to still overlook them, but since my laughter was more scattered than consistent, I started thinking less of Wedding Crashers after it ended.
Our movie is also way too long, and probably would have benefited from a tighter running time. It’s just under two hours in length (even longer if you watch the unrated DVD), and that’s about half an hour too long for a comedy of this nature. There isn’t quite enough content — even with all of those relationships that need to be given the time to develop — and the jokes were too spread out for my liking. Trim the fat, and you have a better film that’s funnier and more enjoyable as a result.
It might have been better if some of the underdeveloped characters had been written out. The girls’ brother, Todd, serves very little purpose, just like their profane grandmother (Ellen Albertini Dow). Even their mother comes off as pointless, shoehorned in for two or three scenes that seem like they’ll be important but never actually serve a purpose. Cutting out all three family members might have allowed it to be of an optimal length while also narrowing the scope.
I did enjoy the people in this film, even if most of them felt more like cartoon characters than the people you’d meet every day. But they’re all unique, have little quirks that are fun to watch play out, and they’re all played by fairly competent actors who understand comedic timing and how to get a laugh out of something that might not really be worth laughing at. There’s even one uncredited cameo at the end from a big name comic actor that will probably get a few audience members incredibly giddy.
Wedding Crashers is a good, not great comedy with a real heart and enough enjoyable moments to make it worth watching. It’s not great because it’s far too long, contains a bunch of unnecessary and pointless scenes, and is as clichéd as your average romantic comedy. But it has interesting characters and has enough going on to distract you from those detractors for long enough to have a good time. It’s also kind of funny, especially if you’re a fan of either of the two lead actors.