New Line // 2006 // 119 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // January 9th, 2009
They're just a couple of guys who just wanna have fun...
...and now they're crashing weddings in high definition.
In David Dobkin's hit comedy Wedding Crashers, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star as John and Jeremy, two loyal business partners and best friends who get a huge kick out of crashing weddings. Sure, the free food and drinks are certainly part of the pleasure, but what John and Jeremy are really after are all the gorgeous women who, aroused by the romantic tension of the celebrations, are willing to embark on wild, sexual adventures.
Successfully crashing weddings, however, is not as easy at it seems, and for as long as they can remember, John and Jeremy have been strictly following a set of rules that usually help them pick up women for fun without getting emotionally attached. At least that's until the two friends decide to crash the glamorous wedding of Treasury Secretary William Cleary's oldest daughter...
I've seen Wedding Crashers several times by now, but I have to admit it's never boring to watch Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn strolling across the screen delivering one funny line after another. Sure, the film's main story line undoubtedly becomes more and more predictable as the plot progresses, but its refreshing humor, innovative idea and fantastic ensemble cast perfectly succeed in turning this movie into a highly entertaining experience loaded with first-class laughs. In short, it's a silly comedy that actually works.
The first hour of Wedding Crashers is certainly the most entertaining and surprising, with John and Jeremy celebrating their extravagant hobby by crashing wedding after wedding and scoring one hot girl after another. Director Dobkin and his crew really succeeded in creating a colorful and fast-paced beginning that properly introduces viewers to the main characters and their techniques, especially some of their hilarious "rules of wedding crashing." Once the vibrant wedding season is over, however, John is the first one to realize that invading weddings solely to get laid is not necessarily what he wants to to for the rest of his life.
John's new perspective on life quickly provokes a conflict between him and Jeremy, and before they know it, the two pals see their lifelong friendship threatened when John falls in love with the charming Claire (Rachel McAdams, The Notebook) at the big Cleary wedding. The remainder of the film focuses mostly on John's several attempts to win over Claire, while Jeremy struggles to get rid of Claire's hyperactive younger sister Gloria (Isla Fisher, Definitely, Maybe). Though none of this is really surprising, the plot keeps moving at a steady pace and both John and Jeremy face a number of hilrious challenges and peculiar moments that are quite simply plenty of fun to watch. The film also features quite a bit of slapstick. Luckily, none of it is really embarrassing.
What really makes Wedding Crashers really work is its bunch of eccentric characters. Whether it's the brilliant Christopher Walken as the threatening Treasury Secretary William Cleary, Ellen Albertini Dow as the rude granny who drops one profanity after another, the crazy but cute Isla Fisher who can't get enough of Jeremy, or the charming Rachel McAdams who's confused about her feelings, each cast member brings along the right amount of energy and enthusiasm to deliver truly entertaining performances that work quite well together. Standing out, of course, are Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, both of whom are terrific as the wedding crashers experiencing unexpected changes in their lifestyles. Wilson and Vaughn have done plenty of crappy movies even I prefer not to mention, but this time they definitely hit all the right notes.
If you've seen the movie and liked it you obviously know all this already, so let me quickly get to my analysis of this new Blu-ray edition. The 2.35:1 non-anamorphic widescreen presentation looks pretty solid, although some parts of the film still look a little too grainy for my taste. This is not a huge issue because most of the time the image is sharp and clean enough for a high-def transfer, but I admit I've seen quite a few Blu-ray titles with better picture quality. The audio transfer, however, is top-notch, and the dialogue, soundtrack and other sound elements are well balanced.
As far as the special features are concerned, this edition unfortunately doesn't offer anything new. Besides two trailers, a music video by the Sights and four additional scenes with optional director's commentary, the bonus material features two featurettes. "Event Planning" is an 11-minute behind-the-scenes look at the several weddings John and Jeremy crash during the movie. It's an overall interesting piece, primarily because members of the crew guide viewers through all the challenges of prepping the sets and coordinating the wedding scenes in an effort to make it all look as authentic as possible. Also included is "Rules of Wedding Crashing," a seven-minute piece during which Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn talk about the most important rules of, well, crashing weddings.
Like the standard "Uncorked" edition, this Blu-ray disc also includes the two versions of the film: the original theatrical cut and the uncorked version with about eight minutes of extra footage. Both versions feature two commentaries, one by David Dobkin and the other by Wilson and Vaughn. The latter is obviously more laid back, with the lead actors clearly enjoying themselves discussing the film in general, their favorite scenes, and what it was like to shoot it. Dobkin mostly touches on the same things, although his experience as a director enables him to talk about the movie with a slightly different approach.
Wedding Crashers is not exactly a sophisticated comedy, but it certainly enables you to shut off your brain for two hours and simply enjoy watching Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crashing parties and discovering true love. If you don't owe the DVD yet, I would certainly recommend the Blu-ray version, but if you purchased the standard disc and can live without watching the film in high-def, I would advise against an investment in this upgrade.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: New Line
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p Widescreen)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Additional Scenes
* Music Video
* Official Site