False advertising, but a pretty good movie
The basic story revolves around John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), a pair of arbitrators whose hobby is crashing weddings in order to have fun and meet girls, since they are often drunk, emotional and desperate for relationships. The guys live this life, and live it well, based on a set of rules that have been handed down by the legendary Chazz, who pioneered the art of wooing bridesmaids.
The first 14 minutes of the movie set up their hedonistic world well, showing them work their magic at a number of weddings, with the help of some particularly artful nudity. It all changes though when John has a change of heart following an off-night. Instead of living the wedding crasher lifestyle, he begins to think about something real. Jeremy doesn't quite see it that way, and thinks he has the perfect way to snap his pal out of his funk: the wedding of the year.
Suffice to say, as it is in all romantic comedies, John meets Claire, the girl of his dreams (Rachel McAdams), but can't seal the deal, in large part because the girl's got a guy (the villainous Bradley Cooper) and a mistrusting dad (Christopher Walken). On the other hand, Jeremy is in tight with her sister Gloria (a very sexy and funny Isla Fisher), which gives John the in to spend the weekend with the family and try to get in good with Claire. Of course, hilarity ensues.
There are some movie duos that just work perfectly, thanks to the chemistry between them. Surprisingly, Vaughn and Wilson haven't been one of those duos, until getting together for this film, where they became a natural team. It's really no surprise that once they got together that they worked so well as a duo, considering that Wilson seems to have great chemistry with everyone he hooks up with.
Vaughn brings energy to the pairing, along with an ability to deliver any line believably, no matter how bizarre, while Wilson delivers serious likeability and a unique leading-man sensibility. Together, they bring both sides of this movie together, but they can't make it all work. Walken, Jane Seymour (as Claire's horny mom) and Claire's oddly artistic brother Todd (Keir O'Donnell) are all wasted in their roles, mainly because the cast is so big. There's only so much time to go around, and the main characters deservedly get the most of it. It's a shame though that Walken doesn't get more to do.
In the end, the movie might leave fans of wild comedies cold, thanks to the importance placed on the romance between John and Claire, but bits like Gloria's increasingly sexual nature and Todd's bizarre behavior help keep the film light and goofy throughout the rather long two-hour runtime. Unfortunately, the film never recaptures the energy and fun of the first 14 minutes, but maintains a balance that helps it become a more well-rounded film than one might expect.
The menu features options to play the film (which leads to a choice of movie version: uncorked or theatrical), view special features, set-up languages and select scenes. The scene-selection menus have still previews and titles for each chapter. Audio options include Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, while subtitles are available in English and Spanish, along with closed captioning.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is solid, but as a straightforward comedy, the movie doesn't give it much to do. Some music enhancement is handled by the surround speakers, while the majority of the sound pumps through the center channel, with clear, distortion-free dialogue. There's nothing negative here, but nothing that stands out either.
The other track belongs to Dobkin, who brings his attention to detail to his commentary. There's a ton of info shared in this chat, but naturally, as he's on his own, it's not as entertaining as the boys' commentary. This is probably the best of both worlds for a comedy like this, as you can pick the direction you want to go, whether you want to be entertained or informed about the movie.
Two featurettes are included on this disc, starting with "Event Planning." Essentially, it's a making-of look behind the scenes that focuses first on how they put together the film's weddings, before moving on to the acting and directing. At 11:30, it's just about the right length where it's informative and entertaining, thanks to a large amount of on-set footage, but neither fluffy nor overdone.
"The Rules" feels like a promotional piece they might run on Comedy Central, as Vaughn and Wilson sit in front of some movie posters and talk about the "Rules of Wedding Crashing." I expected more from this seven-minute sit-down with the two stars, but outside of some cute graphic illustrations of the rules, it's rather staid.
Following up on the same ideas, "The Rules of Wedding Crashing" consists of 24 pages of text, listing the rules mentioned in the film. Somewhere around page 10 I lost interest, as it just felt like more of the same, but kept going. You're unlikely to do the same.
The DVD extras wrap up with some trailers and a track listing/promo for the film's soundtrack that allows you to jump to several of the songs in the film, as well as a music video for "Circus" by The Sights. It's nothing special.
Pop the disc into a DVD-ROM drive and a few more extras are available, including New Line's always excellent script-to-screen viewer, a crashers kit, which allows you to print culturally-relevant name tags, hero photos and wedding speeches and check out the rules and balloon animal instructions, and a quail-shooting game that's actually pretty fun. There are also links to Chazz and Todd's web sites, which are cute.
The Bottom Line