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Movie Review

The Wedding Crashers (15A)

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1 of 1 An anticlimax
An anticlimax

Directed by David Dobkin, starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Ellen Albertini Dow, Bradley Cooper, Henry Gibson, Ron Canada and Will Ferrell.

Part of the new comedy hierarchy in Hollywood, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn have risen to the top by each doing one thing brilliantly. For Wilson it's the glazed eyes/slow drawl/laconic grin combination and for Vaughn it's the gift of being able to fit enough words for eight sentences into one. They've also both got great timing, so any film, no matter how patchy, is going to guarantee some laughs. And so it is with 'The Wedding Crashers', a comedy which, like many big days, ends up with you wanting to see more of some people, goes on too long and ultimately ends up as a bit of an anticlimax.

Wilson and Vaughn are John Beckwith and Jeremy Klein, divorce mediators during working hours, wedding crashers in their free time. While they have developed hundreds of rules for their chosen sport, the game itself is simple: pull single women. And John and Jeremy are the champions, seasoned, multicultural hustlers who'll turn up at Italian, Jewish, Hindu or Chinese weddings, spin the lines, bust the moves and promise to call the next day. So when they discover that one of the daughters of US Treasury Secretary William Clearly (Walken) is getting married, egos get in the way of practicalities and they decide to crash "the Kentucky derby of weddings". But all the rehearsed stories and plans are thrown into chaos when John and Jeremy meet their matches in Cleary's other daughters, the gentle Claire (McAdams) and the unhinged Gloria (Fisher).

Despite the premise, the right chemistry between Wilson and Vaughn and a supporting cast with loads of gag potential, 'The Wedding Crashers' breaks the golden rule of comedies: it drags. The first 45 minutes are good, with some excellent lines ("Don't waste your time on girls in hats - they tend to be very proper"), but thereafter 'The Wedding Crashers' is only intermittently funny and loses momentum because it gets caught in a sweetness/smut dilemma. Recycling set-ups from other comedies (the disastrous family dinner, the unwelcome bedroom visit), the film doesn't have enough ideas of its own, and while Vaughn is as watchable as ever, both he and Wilson should have had more scenes with Fisher, Seymour and, above all, Walken.

Plenty old, nothing new and plenty borrowed - you'd get the same amount of enjoyment watching it on TV at home. Now, doesn't that sound familiar?

Harry Guerin

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