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New Line Home Cinema presents
Wedding Crashers: SE (2005)

"You know they say we only use 10 percent of our brains? I think we only use 10 percent of our hearts."
- John Beckwith (Owen Wilson)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: January 03, 2006

Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson
Other Stars: Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Bradley Cooper, Ellen Albertini Dow, Keir O'Donnell, Will Ferrell
Director: David Dobkin

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content/nudity, language
Run Time: 01h:58m:53s
Release Date: January 03, 2006
UPC: 794043838026
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ BA-B C

DVD Review

The fact that Wedding Crashers is being released in an unrated (or "uncorked," ha ha) edition might give you certain ideas about what type of movie it is. I missed it theatrically, but figured it for the same kind of gross-out fun as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 2005's other big R-rated comedy smash. Oddly enough, though, the two are like polar opposites. Virgin sometimes overloads on blue humor, detracting somewhat from a sweet romance, while the comedy in Wedding Crashers is constantly getting stepped on by an entirely routine love story.

Because really, randy premise (two guys crash weddings in search of an easy lay) aside, Wedding Crashers is your standard romantic comedy, and it doesn't handle the "romantic" part nearly as well. Oddly coupled headliners Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are Jeremy and John, longtime friends and business partners, and for years, they've celebrated wedding season, crashing the engagements using fake identities as an excuse to party and meet women (I loathe weddings myself, but an opening montage makes a pretty good case that they can be a good time). John, however, is starting to feel a little too old for this sort of thing ("pathetic" is the word both he and I keep thinking).

Jeremy convinces his buddy to hit one last bash, an über-wedding for the daughter of the US Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken). There, John meets and falls for the politician's daughter, Claire (Rachel McAdams), while Jeremy woos her sister Gloria (Ilsa Fisher), whom he soon learns is, in crasher-speak, "a stage-five clinger" expecting a life-long commitment. John finagles an invite to the family's posh New England estate, and both men spend the weekend there, looking to land or avoid the girls, as the situation warrants.

The first two-thirds of Wedding Crashers really flies by, thanks mostly to the brilliant Vaughn/Wilson match-up. They seem like an odd choice for such marquee roles, until you actually watch them go at it: Vaughn's nervous motor mouth versus Wilson's slow Texas drawl and lazy charm. They make a better team than the oft-paired Wilson and Ben Stiller, and this wouldn't be a movie, much less a comedy, without them. Watching these two try to keep up their phony back stories while dealing with the eccentric Cleary family is pretty fun, even if the East Coast WASPs do seem familiar, from the sexpot wife (Jane Seymour, not exactly Dr. Quinn) to the weird gay son and the foul-mouthed old granny (played by the rapping granny from The Wedding Singer, oddly enough).

The last third sort of deflates as a lot of time is spent on the relationship between John and Claire. It's a real shame, because Rachel McAdams is really adorable in her role, and would kill with better material. But instead, we've got the standard love triangle between John, Claire, and her priggish fiancé (Bradley Cooper), who we're supposed to accept as a valid romantic rival despite the fact that he treats Claire like dirt. Top it off with a truly ludicrous finale (at a wedding, natch), and you've got the makings of, well, I don't know, but it would probably star Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Director David Dobkin keeps the pace moving, though, and despite a painfully flat "surprise" cameo, the film doesn't falter too much.

Still, the movie works because Vaughn and Wilson are too good together not to watch. Yeah, sure, there are some ladies that figure into the plot, but the guys are the only couple you'll care about.

This DVD gives you the option of watching the R-rated theatrical or an eight-minute longer unrated cut. The additions amount to a few new scenes, but nothing that merits the "uncorked" title. I'd stick with the tighter theatrical cut, but at least you have the choice.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Another fine transfer from New Line, Wedding Crashers is bright, crisp, and colorful, with good detail and depth. I noted no edge enhancement or other mastering defects.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: This is a pretty typical comedy mix. Natural dialogue, wide front soundstage, and not a whole lot of surround action. It gets the job done, though.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring The New World, Final Destination 3, Take the Lead
2 TV Spots/Teasers
4 Deleted Scenes
2 Featurette(s)
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn; director David Dobkin
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
Extras Review: New Line's Platinum Series banner used to mean a lot more than it does, if the supplements on Wedding Crashers are any indication. Still, I can't say I mind, as this isn't a movie that demands a lot of features.

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn fans will probably want to listen to their chatty feature commentary, during which they reminisce about the making of the movie and generally poke fun at each other. It's surprisingly reserved, but amenable enough. Director David Dobkin goes solo for his track, and it's sort of a bore. He's very serious about the whole ting, and at this point, you've heard this commentary 300 times before.

Four deleted scenes, presented with optional commentary from Dobkin, offer around eight minutes of cut footage not added back into the theatrical cut. None of the scenes are all that great, though Vaughn and Wilson's karaoke performance to 99 Red Balloons is sort of amusing.

Event Planning (11m:32s) starts as a featurette on the logistics of shooting the montage of weddings that opens the film, five of them in a week of filming, each with a very different theme. Chief input is from the costume and production designers, who discuss their work, though you'll also hear from the "balloon consultant." It then moves on to more general making-of stuff with the actors and director. It's brief, but not bad, and I liked Dobkin's comments about not liking weddings and other "forced enjoyment" situations. Exactly.

The Rules (07m:28s) is a fitfully amusing but utterly substance-free piece with Wilson and Vaughn talking about the rules of crashing a wedding. There are also 24 text pages of rules for you to read, memorize, and cherish.

In terms of promotional material, there are teaser and theatrical trailers, two Budweiser commercials that tie into the film, the Circus music video by The Sights, and a neat soundtrack option that lets you preview songs used in the film in-context to, I guess, let you decide if you want to buy the CD. Shameless advertising, but creatively handled.

Finally, there are some additional trailers for The New World, Final Destination 3, Take the Lead, and a bunch of New Line DVDs.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

If not quite hilarious, Wedding Crashers is certainly an agreeable film, with infectious energy from co-stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and the adorable Rachel McAdams more than making up for any lulls in the third act romantic comedy rigmarole.

 


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