Wedding Crashers (2005)

(In theaters, August 2005) I’m really not a fan of frat-boy comedies, so please excuse my bemusement as Wedding Crashers goes on to shatter every R-rated comedy box-office record. Womanizers triumphant? Meh. It’s the kind of box-office success that leads one to think dark thoughts about the collective intelligence of the American ticket-buying public. It’s not that Wedding Crashers is bad as much as it’s featureless. Obvious. Dull, sometimes. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play their own respective typecast roles, and if I’m still a sucker for Wilson’s brand of surfer-type laid-back smoothness, Vaughn’s usual loudmouth shtick is getting thin. Ironically, Wedding Crashers is never as good as when it’s behaving badly: the film seriously tanks in the third act as it discovers a conscience and attempts to reconcile itself with mainstream values. Boring! Speaking of which, Rachel McAdams makes no impression as the lead girl whose role is to shut up and look pretty. Meanwhile, Isla Fisher steals every scene she’s in as the not-so innocent sibling. (Heck, she even steals every scene she’s not in given how badly we wish she was in more of the film.) There are a number of good gags and some inspired set-pieces, but in most ways, it’s a perfectly ordinary film. But then again, it’s made for other people.

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