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Champion liggers Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn get more than they bargain for when they invite themselves to a high-society marriage in this spirited comedy
"One day you'll look back on this and laugh," says Vince Vaughn's character in this comedy from David Dobkin, the director of Shanghai Knights. It's a pretty good summation of a film that, while thoroughly predictable and infuriatingly long, delivers enough laughs to keep you smiling through its dull patches.
Jeremy Klein (Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Wilson) are a pair of Washington DC divorce mediators who get their kicks in the summer months crashing weddings. Operating under the principle that the best way to blend in at such shindigs is to stand out, they readily become the life and soul of every nuptial party. It's also a great way to meet single chicks, who seem only too willing to succumb to Jeremy's fast-talking energy and John's laconic, laidback charm.
Their skills are put to the test when Jeremy sets his sights on the biggest wedding of the year - an exclusive bash that will see them rub shoulders with treasury secretary William Cleary (Walken) and the elite of DC society. Though Jeremy has to deal with a "stage five clinger" in the form of Cleary's youngest daughter Gloria (Fisher), while John has to fend off advances from Cleary's randy wife (Seymour), the day goes swimmingly - until John falls for Gloria's sister Claire (McAdams, Mean Girls) and follows her back to her dad's mansion with a reluctant Jeremy in tow.
Up to this point Wedding Crashers is a blast - a gag-a-minute, fast-paced farce that pokes gentle fun at the traditions of tying the knot. But once John and Jeremy relocate to the Cleary household the film shifts clumsily into coarser, Meet The Fockers territory, complete with a bruising football game, lavatorial humour and a homophobic subplot involving Walken's gay-leaning son. ("I feel like Jodie Foster in The Accused!" wails Jeremy after a night spent at the tender mercies of both Gloria and her brother).
The real letdown, however, is the last half hour, which crams in an engagement party, a funeral and yet another wedding - not to mention a cameo from one of Wilson and Vaughn's fellow frat packers - before finally arriving at its overdue resolution. The stars make an engaging double act, while McAdams provides a vivacious foil to their semi-improvised clowning. By the end, however, Wedding Crashers has categorically proved that you really can have too much of a good thing.
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