Today! Because I’d like to be pimps from Oakland or cowboys from Arizona but it’s not Halloween. Grow up Peter Pan –
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Directed by David Dobkin
Starring Owen Wilson (x3), Vince Vaughn (x2), Rachel McAdams (x2), Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken (x2), Bradley Cooper, Jane Seymour, Ellen Albertini Dow (x4), Will Ferrell (x4), Henry Gibson (x5), Ron Canada, Dwight Yoakam, Rebecca De Mornay, Keir O’Donnell
This drinking and fucking comedy masterwork introduced me to Bradley Cooper (even if he is just the smarmy villain of the piece, and thus I didn’t tie this together with the later Oscar nominated Bradley Cooper we’d all come to know and love for some time) and Isla Fisher (who hasn’t had as great a post-Wedding Crashers run, but still popped up in some solid roles – The Great Gatsby, Now You See Me, er, the messy return of Arrested Development), while also giving us one of the better Christopher Walken comedy performances, a great 100% id Will Ferrell cameo, and the best Vince Vaughn character of all-time. Also, if you glance over that resume, this is the last great Vaughn comedy, and the one most directly responsible for so much mediocrity to follow (Fred Claus, Four Christmases, Couples Retreat, our co-starring venture The Dilemma, filmed here in Chicago, etc.).
An excessively quotable movie, Wedding Crashers made its way onto an early relationship mix CD I put together for the then-girlfriend, now-wife, wherein I cut audio clips from movies we liked in with songs, and the opening scene from an old VHS tape announcing “Now, our feature presentation.” I went elaborate with mix CDs, guys. I lament the loss of this form of bonding! I still have a bunch of random compilation tapes and CDs friends gave me over the years – mostly greatest hits type things of musicians I wasn’t familiar with, such as G Love & the Special Sauce, Tom Waits, and The Stone Roses. Thanks, Honchell, Baxter, and Reid!
Anyway, Wedding Crashers, totally holds up. It came along at the right time, to be sure – Vaughn and Wilson were at their best, and this manner of somewhat crude, dude comedy was about to reach its peak (in the oft mentioned Golden Age of Comedy, now stretching from 2005 to like 2011, by my estimation). Things haven’t been the same in the past decade – they’re still making comedies here and there, but most of the stars of this era have transitioned into dramas and dramedies. Can’t hit middle age and keep making the same dick jokes, I guess! Case in point, 2011’s The Dilemma, starring Vaughn and Kevin James, which totally doesn’t work.
Is it for everbody? Eh, probably not. Sure, part of the journey the movie goes on is getting Wilson and Vaughn’s characters John and Jeremy to settle down, from their days of wild wedding crashing to nail bridesmaids, but there is a lot of pretty ugly behavior along the way that may not be cool with all audiences. Even outside John and Jeremy’s antics, you’ve got Cooper’s Sack – with his excessive, amped-up douchebaggery – and Ferrell’s originator of the scheme Chazz, who has moved on to crashing funerals for chicks. You know what? No, I still think this movie is pretty funny. Sure, there’s terrible guys doing guy things, but that’s why there’s a redemption! That’s why some dudes are ostracized! That’s why there’s all that punching at the wedding finale! If you didn’t like it in 2005, you probably won’t like it now, but I wouldn’t say it’s aging particularly badly. It is what it is.
Winner of Best Movie at the MTV Movie Awards, it didn’t rake down a lot of accolades in its day, but did make a huge pile of money, and inspire a string of diminishing returns comedies from the stars, including their re-teaming in The Internship in 2013, which…wasn’t good. If anything, we should probably acknowledge the movie for Best Nude Gay Art Show, right?
We’ve got a bunch of folks joining and advancing today, but at the top of the heap are some of the supporting actors, including Ferrell (#225 Old School, #208 Jay and Silent Bob, #204 Semi-Pro) and Ellen Albertini Dow (#348 Road Trip, #253 My Blue Heaven, #389 Memoirs of an Invisible Man) heading to the Fours, and the late, great Laugh-In legend Henry Gibson going to the Fives, after #146 The Blues Brothers, #217 Magnolia, #218 The Kentucky Fried Movie, and #325 Gremlins 2!