WEDDING CRASHERS

It has been two weeks since I last saw a movie at the cinemas, two long weeks devoid of movies, leaving my soul hungry and empty. My soul craves for movies, and without movies, it withers.



'Wedding Crashers', the biggest sleeper hit of summer 2005 is interesting due to the fact that it remained in the top three list after four weeks of its release, a rarity among the wave of blockbusters that came out this year where they would usually have a HUGE opening, and then start freefalling in the box-office charts. War of the Worlds, Magadascar, Fantastic Four, The Longest Yard and Star Wars 3 are good examples for this trend, while Mr and Mrs Smith, Batman Begins and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory are movies that didn't open with huge box-office figures, but managed to stay on the charts for quite a while. The Wedding Crashers belong to the latter group, but unlike the latter group, it performed something even more spectacular, and that is by becoming the top movie in USA during the THIRD WEEK of its release (almost a rarity today).

And thus I dragged my poor film-deprived American flatmate to the cinemas with me, as the poor girl had not seen a movie since she came to Perth, her last movie being War of the Worlds, a fine movie that would've been an instant classic if it weren't for the last two minutes of it.

How good is 'Wedding Crashers'? I can say that it is one of the best romantic comedies of the year since Hitch. But then, this hasn't been a good year for romantic comedies. Bewitched, anybody? Or the numerous Ashton Kutcher films? It's an R-rated film, thus it is highly likely that the film will be banned in Malaysia due to its numerous nude scenes and profanities (even if it got through, it'll be butchered badly).

John (Owen Wilson, in the first genuine romantic role I can remember) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn, in fine comic form) are lawyers who crash weddings. They go to wedding ceremonies to pick up chicks because that is the moment when women are most marriage-crazed. Their methods are ingenious, either playing and laughing with children, or charming the elderly, or telling sad tales of losing people they loved, they could almost hook up with any chick easily.

Things were easy until they went to the wedding of the eldest daughter of the Treasury Secretary (Christopher Walken, who is scary when he is staring at you coldly), John fell seriously in love with the other daughter, Claire, (Rachel McAdams) while Jeremy became the object of obsession for the youngest daughter, Gloria, (Isla Fisher). There are complications too because Claire has an asshole of a fiance who is genuinely intimidating and evil, not the typical bumbling villains you see in generic romantic comedies. This guy throws a mean punch, and does hurt the main guys pretty badly.

So yes, the plot is simple, after the wedding, the two guys were invited to the politician's house, where John remained troubled by his forbidden love for Claire whilst Jeremy was continuously tormented by Gloria. Will John get the woman he loved? Will Jeremy learn to enjoy Gloria's evil torturing methods?

The plot is meant to be predictable, so there's not much for me to dwell upon. I shall focus on the performers instead. Christopher Walken remains fatherly yet sometimes scary, like he usually does in comedies where he has to play the father. Vince Vaughn, as I've mentioned before is fine as the funny one. Isla Fisher, who is an Australian, and focused upon very much by the Australian media recently due to this film, is memorable as the psychotic nymphomaniac, Gloria (it is interesting to say that just a night ago, I watched one of her earlier Australian comedies on TV called 'The Wannabes', where she played a much er, normal role as the love interest, but did show immense charisma), Owen Wilson is interesting as a romantic lead, and I wouldn't mind seeing him trying this more... at least I find him more interesting than Ashton Kutcher anyway (and I don't hate Ashton Kutcher, I thought he was okay in 'Guess Who?', but 'A Lot Like Love' was pretty crap).

I save the best for the last. Rachel McAdams. Throughout the weeks, she is referred as THE actress of summer 2005. The surprise hit last year on summer, The Notebook, gained her quite a lot of attention, and 'Mean Girls', meant to be regarded as Lindsay Lohan's star vehicle had been re-examined, and it became Rachel McAdam's movie instead. (she won the MTV Breakthrough Acting of the Year or something for it). I saw the latter, and unfortunately, despite having The Notebook DVD, I have yet to see it. But she is simply fabulous in the Wedding Crashers. Not just another pretty face in a man's movie, nor a flower vase, her dazzling charisma lit up the entire film, making it plausible why a guy like John will fall in love with her. Hell, I would too. Instead of trying to be exaggeratingly funny or sweet like Meg Ryan or even Julia Roberts did in their days with romantic comedies, there's just something different about Rachel McAdams, something er, sincere and real. And judging from her appearance in David Letterman's show two nights ago, I think she is pretty smart in choosing her roles (despite becoming a star, she chose to be in good ensemble flicks than star vehicles because they can test the range of her acting even if she was going to be a supporting character).

So yeah, I am definitely going to get back my 'The Notebook' DVD as soon as possible to watch it. And I am intrigued with 'Red Eye', her upcoming film with Cillian Murphy (the guy who played Scarecrow in Batman Begins) which has a marvellous trailer that made it seem as if it's some silly little romantic comedy before turning into a dark thriller during its last few seconds. Whoa. I first saw that trailer when I went for 'War of the Worlds', and that stuck in my mind even though I saw the 'King Kong' trailer later.

Oh, Will Ferrell has a great cameo in 'The Wedding Crashers' that made me forgive him for Bewitched. Well, almost.