'Wedding' Hardly Takes The Cake

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By Desson Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 15, 2005

REMEMBER: In life, there are always things to be grateful for. So what can you draw from "Wedding Crashers," a caper comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn?

Uh, okay, for one thing, Ben Stiller (Wilson's evil twin, in terms of comedy overexposure) isn't in the movie. It's possible he was too busy conducting research for the next sequel to "Meet the Fockers." For another, the movie has some Washington scenes for us yokel locals to enjoy. We see these landmarks all the time. But as soon as they appear on the screen, well, holy Nationals in the World Series, we're suddenly validated!

But best of all, I would direct your attention to the hilarious Mr. Vaughn. As Jeremy Klein, a cad who crashes weddings for those available, single women, he's a cad and a half. And he can motormouth like a machine gun, spraying men, women and children with manic, rat-a-tat outbursts of toxic insincerity. It's often dirty, yes. But it's also manic and inspired.

A quick rundown: Jeremy and best buddy John Beckwith (Wilson) look up hot wedding announcements in the paper, do perfunctory research on the wedding party and guests, then figure out an angle. Are they brothers this time? Are they businessmen? Who in the party are they "related" to? Anything to get them in there and hitting on the talent. Women at weddings, well, you've heard the deal on them. Jeremy and John just rake 'em in.

But when the scoundrels crash the big-time Washington wedding party for the daughter of Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken), things change. John falls a little too sincerely for Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams), one of the secretary's daughters. And Jeremy gets in a little over his head with another Cleary daughter, Gloria (Isla Fisher), who soon declares her undying, bunny-boilingly permanent love for Jeremy forever.

It would injure me mentally to describe any more of the plot, but let's just say "Crashers" is an excuse for Wilson and Vaughn to forge a tag team of cute and rude. They're both good at what they do, and they work well together. As for the movie, think of it with no more lofty regard than a good stick of gum. Pop it in your mouth, chew on it for a while and enjoy the very temporary sweetness. And when the movie gets all romantic on you, it's time to spit the thing into the trash. Or return it to the video rental store.

WEDDING CRASHERS (R, 119 minutes) -- Contains nudity, sexual scenes, obscenity and slapstick violence. Area theaters.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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