This is one of those unfortunate comedies where the concept is actually funnier than the execution. It’s a shame, too, given the cast they had at their disposal. I’m sure the pitch sessions for this movie were a riot. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crashing weddings to pick up women? Christopher Walken as the Secretary of the Treasury? Hilarity must inevitably ensue, right?
Unfortunately, no. Wedding Crashers is a study in missed opportunities and miscalculations. The biggest miscue was not exploiting, at all, the comedic possibilities of the premise. These guys are crashing a wedding involving a member of the cabinet and not one second of screen time is spent showing how these two guys got into the wedding. This is supposed to be the “Mount Everest of wedding crashes” and we don’t get to see the two main characters actually climb the mountain. Instead we get a second half where the raucous comedy that we thought we were seeing gives way to a maudlin romantic comedy that doesn’t miss a cliché on its way to a predictable ending.
Another mistake was the way Zack Lodge (Bradley Cooper) was written. As the fiancé of Claire (Rachel McAdams) and the romantic rival of John (Wilson), he’s such an over the top, self-absorbed prick that the resolution of the triangle between them is telegraphed almost from the moment Zack steps on screen.
Given what little they have to work with, Wilson and Vaughn do a serviceable job holding our attention with sheer charisma and energy. As the Secretary Cleary’s virginal nymphomaniac daughter, Gloria, Isla Fisher throws herself fearlessly into the role. Her relentless pursuit of Jeremy (Vaughn) is probably the comedic highlight of the film.
Will Farrell is also on hand in a cameo role that does nothing but add several pointless minutes to the last act. Borrowing from the nautical theme of the Cleary wedding, this film is two hours of sail with no wind.