2005-08-12 / Columnists

‘Wedding Crashers’ – Marital Blitz

Mix “Meet the Parents” with “Animal House” and the party movie of the summer appears: “Wedding Crashers.” Having earned $116.1 million at the box office, “Crashers’ is a bonafide hit jumping up to number one after three weeks.

The reason is clear.

Stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are fun and funny, knowing the secret to whipping up a riotous good time. Divorce mediators John Beckwith (Wilson) and Jeremy Klein (Vaughn) have a strange and exciting hobby – they crash weddings in an all-out assault to score one-night stands with the opposite sex. They’re aware that weddings make women romantic and uninhibited. All the crashers need to have is a flimsy reason for being there — that is, the name of a relative somewhat connected to the bride or groom.

Early in the film, we see a wild montage of our heroes running roughshod through a series of Irish, Jewish and Italian weddings. Finally, they wind up at an ultra WASPy affair, where the daughter of U.S. Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) is tying the knot. At the reception, John makes a fatal mistake: He falls in love with Cleary bridesmaid/daughter Claire (Rachel McAdams).

Jeremy is moving in the other direction, trying to cordially hit the road because his lover, sister Gloria (Isla Fisher), is clinging to him like sap to a tree.

Before long, the dynamic duo find themselves playing touch football at the Cleary Kennedyseque compound. It’s there that we discover the extreme eccentricity of this supposedly prestigious political family. Scenes at group dinners are almost as hilarious as the meals with the Fockers in “Meet the Parents.” Gloria is a sex kitten. Mrs. Kathleen Cleary (Jane Seymour) drinks too much and has the hots for John. Brother Todd (Kevin O’Donnell) is an obsessed artist, whom Grandma Cleary (Ellen Albertini Dow) declares is a “homo.” Vying for Claire (who seems “normal”) is intensely competitive Sack (Bradley Cooper), impressive to the Treasury Secretary because of his political family pedigree.

Directed by David Dobkin from a Steve Faber-Bob Fisher screenplay, “Crashers” runs out of stream and slips into soap opera as the bad boys soften for true love. However, a real scene-stealer is Fisher, whose desire for Jeremy heads into near-insanity. Also, Seymour is interesting playing a Mrs. Robinson role, a far cry from her usual wholesome mothers.

And, there’s an un-credited cameo by Will Ferrell as a “funeral crasher.” While he’s a hoot, the movie still belongs to Wilson-Vaughn.

Check out “Wedding Crashers.”  It’ll make your summer fun funnier.

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