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WEDDING CRASHERS

SYNOPSIS:
John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) are divorce mediators whose spring-time hobby is to crash weddings. They are the perfect guests; good mixers (complete with changing back-stories), who invariably become the hit of the reception, with young women literally falling into their arms ... and beds. At the society wedding of the year, John is attracted to bridesmaid Claire (Rachel McAdams), while Jeremy lusts after her sister Gloria (Isla Fisher). Their wealthy politician father (Christopher Walken) and his wife (Jane Seymour) invite them to a party at their waterfront estate, but John's style is dampened by Claire's obnoxious Ivy League boyfriend, Sack (Bradley Cooper). John and Jeremy quickly learn that even the wealthy have dysfunctional families, and these girls are like no others they have ever met.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The slightly subversive personas of both Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn go a long way to undercut the Hollywood flash of this romantic comedy to make it more or less palatable to cynics and hard nosed movie lovers. Vaughn is especially sharp as Jeremy, delivering some well written dialogue with all the flair of his character as a single minded wise-ass with a deeply buried soft spot. He's an ever ticking emotional time bomb about to go off.

Owen Wilson makes a perfect foil for this bravura performance, playing against type as the straight man - albeit that has to be taken in context, in which straight man doesn't mean what it sounds like.

The starting concept of guys crashing weddings (and later on, even funerals, in what is the film's most daring sequence) to get laid is funny in a sad sort of way, and indeed, there is a serious undertow which gives the humour its ballast, but the script does fade out past its natural ending, as it tries really hard to pump up the tension of romantic comedy resolutions.

Both Rachel McAdams and Isla Fisher shine as the very different sisters, one as the girl about to marry the wrong guy, the other as the flirtatious sexual predator with a heart of gold. Jane Seymour gets a couple of scenes to play against type as another sexual predator, while Christopher Walken is a tad muted as the Senator with Presidential potential.

Lots of mindless fun, but all of this could have worked a whole lot better if the final act was tightened up and director David Dobkin had enough faith in the material to just give it all he - and it - has got.

Review by Louise Keller:
An outrageously funny film about weddings, uninvited guests and relationships, Wedding Crashers is a smash. This buddy movie, cum romantic comedy starts with the premise about two womanisers who have created a lifestyle by crashing weddings. Instead of delivering a few cheap laughs and fizzing like a runaway balloon, the story builds layer upon layer, and delights by taking takes us to unexpected places to meet wonderfully eccentric characters.

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are zany, crazy and lovable as John and Jeremy, buddies who use their offbeat creative talents to create imaginary personas as they eat and drink their way through every wedding in town. And in the intimacy of the celebrations, when all the guests let their hair down, these extroverted fun-lovers have found the perfect platform from which to spring and score pretty girls. With no strings. Until now that is, when they crash the 'Kentucky Derby' of weddings, a gathering of the social elite for the marriage of one of the daughters of Secretary of State William Cleary (Christopher Walken), only to find the bridesmaids are much more than they've bargained for.

This is the family that invented the word 'dysfunctional'. Walken is his usual laid-back self as the head of family married to wicked seductress Kathleen (Jane Seymour) who announces she has been married for 30 years (and faithful for two), before insisting Jeremy feels her newly enhanced breasts. Then there's Grandma Mary (Ellen Albertini Dow) who dislikes 'rug munching dykes' while flinging verbal abuse inappropriately, and the family black sheep, weirdo gay artist Todd (Keir O'Donnell), who peers in demented fashion through his furrowed eyebrows and unexpectedly finds himself in Jeremy's closet.

When John brings out his eye-drops, it's usually for effect and a few crocodile tears, but at the lavish weekend mansion dinner table, he spikes the drink of Claire (Rachel McAdams)'s obnoxious league-playing fiance Sack (Bradley Cooper)'s drink. The result certainly gets Sack out of the way momentarily, although pay-back comes quickly. McAdams flashes her dimples and is delightful as the girl of John's dreams, while Gloria (Isla Fisher) is hilarious as the object of Jeremy's attention - a petite bundle of nymphomania whose tentacles lasso Vaughn's big-guy, until he is but helpless pulp (or a hapless pup).

The characters are wonderfully drawn and the film never takes itself too seriously as we tag along for a rollicking ride. There's a good balance of light and shade when it comes to emotions, and the central friendship between John and Jeremy is at the film's heart. This is a must: crash this film!

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

WEDDING CRASHERS (M)
(USA, 2005)

CAST: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Will Ferrell, Ellen Albertini Dow, Jennifer Alden, Summer Altice

PRODUCER: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Andrew Panay

DIRECTOR: David Dobkin

SCRIPT: Steve Faber, Bob Fisher

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Julio Macat

EDITOR: Mark Livolsi

MUSIC: Rolfe Kent

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barry Robison

RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 11, 2005

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: February 2, 2006







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