Monday, July 18, 2005


Take Me Out To The . . . Wedding Crashers?!?

So Miss Tori and I were on our way to see some minor league ball in Sacramento. Carpenter had a couple of tickets he wasn't using for games on the 3rd and 17th. We were slightly dreading sitting outdoors for three hours with a temp of 104, but what the heck. I got the tickets a few weeks ago, and after telling her the game was on the 10th and realizing on the 10th itself that the game was really on the 17th, we were finally going to make it. I hadn't made it to the game on the 3rd either. Well we leave Bunktown and make it up to the ballpark. We park in Carpenter's favorite lot. We walk to the gate. And I'm expecting to share all this great ball game fun with her. I've got the story of the little kid who got hit in the face with a foul ball all warmed up. They're going through her purse. And then the ticket scanner gives a funny beep. How much do I suck? This much: I had brought the tickets for the game on the 3rd. The guy tells me we could go and buy tickets since the game isn't sold out, but Carpenter has shady seats, and I'm not going to get stuck in the sun on a hot day like this. So on to Plan B.

There's a nice open air mall right downtown, with food, and movies, and we head there instead. I give her a nice little tour of the shops. We wandered through Doubleday books; I wanted to get a look at the Harry Potter mania. But there wasn't any. There wasn't even any display, no table set aside, no stand up cardboard Harry Potter, nothing. Maybe they all sold out, but you would think there would be some sign of the book somewhere. I dared Miss Tori to go up to the counter and ask if they had that Larry Pinter book cause she wanted to get it for her nephew. I figured it would be good for a few laughs. She declined with a reversal, double daring me to do it. When I started to go up to the counter, she grabbed my arm and dragged me out before I could embarrass myself, or her. And so we ended up at the theater with two choices that fit our timeline: Willy Wonka and Wedding Crashers.

I can tell you that while I want to see Wonka eventually, I very much preferred seeing Wedding Crashers. Miss Tori was up for either one, so we went with Wedding Crashers. Actual well written reviews of all sorts of movies (but mostly not current releases) can be found over at Nehring the Edge. My reviews are rather more crappy, but as long as you're here, you might as well keep reading.

The set up: John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Klein (Vince Vaughn) are two guys who seem to have jobs as divorce mediators. In their spare time, they sneak into weddings for free food, free drinks, and romance-minded ladies.

You can imagine how it will go; the plot is pretty standard in some ways. You've got guys who in a sense use women, who somehow discover love and realize that a life of carnal lust maybe isn't the right way to go, especially once you're not an early twentysomething anymore. But because they make up back stories to cover themselves as legit guests, John finds himself in love with a girl he's lied to about who he is. Will it ever work out? Will she ever forgive him? You already know the answer.

After an early montage of their experiences visiting several weddings, we have a pretty good idea of the various techniques these two have put together. They're "Uncle Ned's" kids. They're investment bankers from out of state. The guys are both good dancers. They look good for the ladies by making balloon animals for the kids. It's a pretty flawless routine, handed down to Jeremy by the grand mentor of wedding crashers, Chaz. And if you've seen movies from this group of guys (Dodgeball, Old School, Zoolander, Anchorman, Starsky and Hutch etc.), like me, you'll be looking forward to who will be filling this cameo role (Don't worry, Nehring, it wasn't Ben Stiller!).

Then Jeremy and John decide to make an attempt on their biggest wedding yet, the marriage of one of the daughters of the Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken, who I can never get enough of). Wilson ends up falling for one daughter, while another daughter pulls a nutso routine on Vaughn. When they're invited to the Cleary family compound for the weekend, Vaughn wants nothing else but to cut and run far, far away from daughter Gloria, while Wilson is determined to go so he can get closer to daughter Claire, who, as you probably can guess, has a jerk boyfriend she's been with for over three years. Wilson calls on the code of the wedding crashers and Vaughn reluctantly comes along. He's right to be reluctant, because Gloria is a total nutjob. We stick with Wilson, Vaughn, and the Cleary family for the rest of the film.

I don't go to the theaters much, because people are jerks; however, this theater was packed, and the audience was great. I have not laughed so hard in a theater in years. I was holding my sides, stomping my feet, and the laughter of the crowd actually drowned out some of the lines from the film. And even though this one is fresh in my mind, it wouldn't be unfair to say that I laughed a lot harder than I did at any of those movies I mentioned above involving this same group of young comic actors. The movie does have some light nudity, sexual situations played for laughs, and for me earns it's R rating with language. It's no Casablanca or Gone With The Wind, it's not ART, in other words, but it's not a sin for a movie to be entertaining and hilarious. If you can get into an R movie, go see it. But make sure you see it yourself first, before deciding to let your mature mid-teen child go.

Actual update: Perhaps I could add a little more. There are what you might consider styles of comedy. Three's Company had a certain style, and then you have a show like Seinfeld, which has another style. Because comedy is in the eye of the beholder, some things some people find funny will be too crude, or too silly, or just too outlandish for others. Similarly, some movies might be typified by the more intelligent-type humor of a Best In Show or A Mighty Wind. This is not one of those movies. But if you liked some of the other movies involving these guys that I mentioned above, if their style of comedy works for you, I'll think you'll find that this one is the best this group has put out so far.
Now I don't know what to think. Willing Participant (the guy who guest posted for me on my site - the War of The Worlds review) saw this movie and crapped all over it. To be honest I was bummed since I really liked the premise and hey, no Ben Stiller. After reading your review I may have to venture out to see it.

The use of sex as a farcial tool is fine by me - I love Blazing Saddles after all. I appreciate the warning however. People may go out thinking they're going to get Dodgeball.

Great post. You should do more reviews.
Dang, and WP and I were definitely on the same page for War of the Worlds. Is he going to write a review? I'd love to see what his thoughts are.
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