The Wedding Crashers

I saw Wedding Crashers and 40-Year Old Virgin on consecutive days.  The themes of each were essentially the same – horny guy(s) trying to rectify the situation.  The primary difference between the two movies is this - 40-Year Old Virgin is funny, Wedding Crashers is not.

There are some performers who many people think are hysterically funny that I just don’t get.  Whoopie Goldberg, Jim Carrey, and Chris Rock are prime examples.  Add Owen Wilson to the list.  Every time I’ve seen him he does the same whiny, sensitive new age guy shtick.  And the hair – what is it with this 60’s Beatle type helmet?  What woman would be attracted to this guy?

The movie starts out with Wilson (John) and his partner Vince Vaughn (Jeremy) working as divorce arbitrators.  In the first scene, a couple in the process of negotiating a divorce settlement are at a complete stalemate over a number of issues, including the division of the husband’s airline miles.  John and Jeremy intervene and are so cloyingly obnoxious that both parties volunteer to surrender on the mileage issue just to get away from the arbitrators.  They were so awful that any reasonable person would have done the same thing.

Now here’s the rub – they crash weddings, act the same way and everybody loves them.  This doesn’t compute.  They go to ethnic weddings including Jewish, Irish, and Indian and claim to be relatives.  No one ever seems to challenge them and a series of short flashes of naked bodies conveys the message that the boys are meeting their objectives. 

Flush with success, the crashers tackle a high profile wedding where a powerful cabinet secretary, another weirdo role for Christopher Walken, is marrying off his oldest daughter.  The boys' cover story is that they are brothers from New Hampshire who are venture capitalists.  They say they are related to Uncle Ned, who no one in the family seems to remember.  If no one remembers Uncle Ned, how did they get invited?  At least they might have offered that they were from the groom’s side. The bride’s younger sisters unaccountably fall for John and Jeremy  at the wedding reception.  Jeremy even has sex with one of the sisters during the reception.  This sister is so swept away that she convinces her father to let the boys stay at their family island retreat for the weekend. 

At this point, John discovers that the daughter he finds attractive is engaged to an obnoxious rugby enthusiast.  John thwarts his rival by putting eye drops in the fiancé’s water glass at dinner.  He spends the next day throwing up into a toilet.  Not my idea of high concept comedy.  We also meet the bride’s younger brother, a gay artist.  We suspect that he is gay because he has strange hair and walks funny.  Our suspicions are confirmed when the demented grandmother tells us he is a homo. 

Later that evening, the horny sister, who is ready for a little S&M, ties Jeremy to the bedposts.  But when she leaves the room, the brother comes into the room and tries to seduce the bound-up Jeremy.   Meanwhile, the girls’ mother, Jane Seymour as an erstwhile Mrs. Robinson, who is anxious to show off her newly implanted breasts, seduces John.  Subtlety is not the long suit of this film.

The next day, Jeremy, feeling the need to make a confession, tells all to the Cleary family minister that he and John are imposters.  The minister immediately tells Secretary Cleary, and the boys are tossed off the island.

Several months later, Jeremy inexplicably marries the Secretary’s daughter.  John is the best man but doesn’t show up on time for the wedding.  The wedding party soldiers on, but just before the ceremony wraps up in walks John.  He walks halfway down the aisle and makes a whiny, sensitive guy speech which convinces the other Cleary girl to renounce her engagement in order to pair up for John.  The fiancé appeals to the Secretary, but he declares that this is his daughter’s decision. 

In addition to the ludicrous script and mediocre performances, the film was sloppily made.  On at least two occasions Vaughn flubbed his lines and they didn’t even try to reshoot the scene. 

There are many people who liked this movie.  I can’t imagine why.