Friday, July 15, 2005

Dry 'Wedding'

So I saw Wedding Crashers last night, and I don't think it's a good sign I'm focusing on what was wrong with it. I definitely laughed out loud many times, and if I had any influence, Vince Vaughn would get a Best Supporting Actor nomination (I'm not joking; the guy is like a Bobby Abreu at the Home Run Derby here, just smashing anything thrown near him). However, 12 hours later, I just can't get over how much it missed its potential.

I lay this all at the feet of director David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights). In fact, any success the film has comes despite him. The guy just loves his extreme close-ups, putting the camera so tight at times you can count Vaughn's pores. And in perhaps his most egregious move, he's directly from the George Lucas School of Wipe Cuts (when the film changes scenes by "wiping" across from left to right, used most famously in the "Star Wars" films). This is a film nerd observation, to be sure, but I couldn't help but think Dobkin was confusing 2005 with 1979.

There are more basic problems, though. Why not take advantage of Christopher Walken if you have him? Plus, the film's "villain" (Bradley Cooper, so good in "Alias") is pure unlikable evil, when a better movie would have had him show at least some good - or at least funny - qualities (and ask yourself how his private eye knows all of that information,... or better yet, don't). And the movie comes to a thudding halt for about 20 minutes in the third act, made even worse with a "surprise" cameo by an actor - a once-welcome face - who's quickly wearing thin in this type of role.

Ugh, I don't like the way this sounds, only because I actually did like the film. It has the best opening 45 minutes of any movie in recent memory - just rapid fire laughs, the kind that come from deep in your chest. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are the best combination of that "group" we've seen (you know, the one also including Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Jack Black). Rachel McAdams is Hotty McHothot, and if I could buy stock in "the next big thing," I would bet huge on her. Plus, the movie is shameless with its R-rating, and it's nice to hear characters that have as dirty a mouth as me.

It's just that a little more could have been done with this premise - genius, by the way - and the cast. As it is, the movie is a solid double, and Vaughn takes it on his back by himself and legs it out to third. It really is worth your time just to see him.

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