What should’ve been an absolutely raucous and no-holds-barred lusty farce is nothing but lame-ass, safe, predictable, lowest common denominator, no-laffs garbage. Okay, there are a couple of chuckles here and there, but they come by way of off-handed one-liners delivered by Vince Vaughn that are more incidental than relevant to the story at hand. The story we have seems like it came directly out of the hack factory as these two guys–Hollywood committee versions of “horny single guys”–pick up chicks by crashing strangers’ weddings. This alone should’ve made for no-limits, ruthless comedy, instead the dingleberries who produced this thing opted for a paint-by-numbers plotline as both the crashers fall in love with the daughters of a powerful politician.
I’m so over the wasp-ish comedy of manners that Hollywood churns out to cater to whitebread audiences.Meet the Parents was barely acceptable as farce, and I stayed away for its sequel because I can’t stand comedies that feature priggish white aristocrats without having an absolutely ruthless attitude towards them. For good modern comedy, I can only think of David O. Russell, among Hollywood directors, as having sensibilities vitriolic enough and a mind brilliant enough to attempt anything like satire or farce. Alexander Payne comes close but he’s more interested in dramatic retribution, whereas Russell will just hammer you with something like I Heart Huckabees, without apology or explanation, and make you fall in line. That’s what comedies should do: slap you around a bit, test your sensibilities, skewer its targets, and make us laugh in the process. The Marx Brothers are a great example and, hell, The Three Stooges could come up with more entertaining and clever ways to unravel a plotline than this brain-dead movie as John (Wilson) tries to woo the object of his affection (a typically adorable, dimple-cheeked honey played by McAdams) and keep her from marrying a no-account asshole (some non-descript boring white schmuck) while Jeremy (Vaughn) realizes the “Stage 5 clinger” who he’s been trying to shake off for a half-hour is actually a spitfire and he’s turned on. I admit there are some potential laughs here, but, man oh man, the second half of this movie goes right down the toilet–not that the first half was that much better. Charmless, humorless direction, and an equally inept screenplay sabotage everything Wilson and Vaughn can muster as a comedic one-two pairing.
Wedding Crashers is a waste of time and an insult to the idea of rude-and-crude comedy. One thing the morons behind this movie should’ve understood is that there is no room for morality in comedy. Comedy must be totally amoral for it to work. It is intellectual, and has no interest in appealing to the heart. This is why romantic comedies almost never work–unless the romantic element is sabotaged by a subversive element (e.g. the neurotic kill-joy Alvy Singer in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall). In any case, Wedding Crashers has scant funny moments and little to recommend it (and, for the record, let me say I’m tired of the whole Will Ferrell’s jerkwad schtick. He needs to take his one-joke act and disappear quietly).
Wedding Crashers is…well…safe. And that’s the lowest that can be said about any comedy.
Directed by: David Dobkin
Written by: Steve Farber, Bob Fisher
Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Jane Seymour, Isla Fisher, Henry Gibson