|Wedding Crashers (Uncorked Edition)|
|DVD Romantic Comedy|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Tuesday, 03 January 2006|
“Wedding Crashers” is a straightforward comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in which the two play business partners who also find joy in their favorite time of year, wedding season. They stake out and crash weddings of every type, size and ethnic group. Equipped with their “rules,” they not only get free food and drink and become the life of the party, they also end up each taking a different woman to bed every time, which ultimately is the goal of the wedding crashers.
At the tail end of wedding season, Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) convinces John (Owen Wilson) to crash one more wedding, this one the marriage of the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (Christopher Walken). John agrees and at the reception he meets the Secretary’s other daughter and maid of honor Claire (Rachel McAdams). He is instantly smitten and decides that he’s going to break a few of the wedding crasher rules to be with her. This requires Jeremy to make the time pass and he does so with yet another daughter, Gloria (Isla Fisher). Unfortunately for John, Claire already has a boyfriend named Zack (Bradley Cooper), who is, of course, a Grade A jerk. John ingratiates himself with Secretary Cleary and Claire and he and Jeremy are both invited back to the family estate.
Once there, Mrs. Cleary (Jane Seymour) tries to seduce John and Gloria acts as though she and Jeremy are going to get married, scaring him to death. Jeremy is understandably annoyed at John for putting him through all this and he goes through lots of pain at the hands of Zack, who plays everything rough. I bet everyone can guess whether or not Claire will dump the overtly annoying Zack for John and whether or not Jeremy will find true love with the super-clingy Gloria.
I never saw this movie in the theatre, and maybe that has something to do with the fact that I really didn’t think it was as funny or great as a lot of people did. Sometimes comedies rely partially on the energy and general goofiness of an audience to make them seem funnier. The first time I saw “American Pie” in the theatre, I fell out of my seat two or three times from laughter. There are funny bits here and there, but as a whole, the movie feels a bit flat. It really is just a bunch of scenes thrown together where Wilson and Vaughn play caricatures of themselves. This is laconic Wilson and “Swingers” Vaughn. They have their moments, but overall the writing is flat and the story too simplistic. When I heard about the film, I thought it sounded like a great idea; so much could have been done with it. Instead, we get a 10-minute glimpse of what might have been in the wedding montage and then “The Wedding Crashers” embroils itself in the old nice-guy-who-does-bad-things-meets-girl-who-makes-him-want-to-change-except-she-has-a-jerk-boyfriend-but-falls-for-the-new-guy-anyway-and-then-finds-out-he-does-not-nice-things-like-crash-weddings while his best friend has to endure crazy people. There are more rampantly obvious cliches that fill the story and, while almost all comedies have them, they just feel more depressing in this one.
For what was supposed to be tied for funniest movie of the year, this DVD has a sorry lack of special features. There are eight-and-a-half minutes of extra footage in the “Uncorked” version, but it’s just little bits here and there. The four deleted scenes are either really funny and you wonder why they didn’t put them in or so pointless you wonder why they were shot in the first place. Director David Dobkin’s commentary on the scenes doesn’t give good reasons for why they were eliminated. There are two featurettes, one of which is the standard short one that has a few limited interviews and chunks of behind-the-scenes footage, the sort of thing you see between movies on HBO, and another one that heavily features Wilson and Vaughn but which doesn’t give much more information besides reiterating the fact that they had a lot of fun making the movie.
One thing the producers of the DVD got right was convincing Wilson and Vaughn to do an audio commentary. While they spend some time patting each other on the back, they give a surprising amount of information about the production as a whole. In fact, they give just as much if not more technical and background information than is on director Dobkin’s commentary. Dobkin must have been busy when he did the recording, because he seems to wax and wane in his interest. Wilson and Vaughn of course also provide their fair share of laughs during the commentary, but more than that, they provide an enthusiasm that is rewarding for those who feel they might have mailed in their performances.
The transfer of both sound and picture is crisp, solid and about what you’d need or expect for a lowbrow comedy. I find it surprising that there are no alternate language tracks, but maybe they figured things just wouldn’t translate properly so they didn’t even bother.
“Wedding Crashers” was one of two can’t miss comedies last year (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” was the other) and many will consider this to be a can’t-miss DVD. That said, there’s nothing so special about the DVD that makes it any better than the movie itself. So rent it if you haven’t seen it and if you must own it, then this is your only choice. Just don’t expect too much more than the movie.