tek's rating: ¼

Wedding Crashers (R / unrated)
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This came out in 2005, but I didn't see it until 2019. I liked it more than I expected to... despite my disappointment in discovering that Jane Seymour's role was smaller than I expected it to be.

Anyway, there are these two divorce mediators and best friends, John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn), whose favorite time of year is "wedding season." I would assume they crash weddings at other times of year, as well, but the few weeks in summer when weddings are most common is when they have the most fun in the shortest span of time. (Wedding crashing is a tradition handed down to Jeremy from a guy named Chazz Reinhold, whom John meets near the end of the movie.) Well... we get to see John and Jeremy using every trick in the book to get women they meet at wedding receptions to go to bed with them. But by the end of this particular season, John is starting to grow weary of such juvenile behavior.

Later, Jeremy convinces John to (reluctantly) crash the wedding of one of the daughters of Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken). When they get there, John falls in like at first sight with of the bride's sisters, Claire (Rachel McAdams). At the reception, the two of them hit it off, and John also makes a good impression on Claire's father. Meanwhile, Jeremy works his magic on yet another of William's daughters, Gloria (Isla Fisher). After Jeremy and Gloria have sex on the beach, she claims it was her first time... and she's in love with him. Suddenly, Jeremy is desperate to get away, but the formerly reluctant John wants to stay. The two of them end up being invited to stay at the Cleary family home for awhile. The priest who performed the wedding, Father O'Neil (Henry Gibson), is also staying with the Clearys, though he's a fairly minor character. Unfortunately for John, another guest is Claire's boyfriend, Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper). He's pretty much an asshole (which honestly, I think is kind of a good thing, if we're meant to root for John and Claire to get together, considering John is far from being a respectable gentleman, himself). Although... considering John and Jeremy are pretending to be distant relatives, I'm not sure how a relationship between them and either Claire or Gloria was supposed to be acceptable... unless they were pretending to be relatives of the guy who married the other Cleary daughter. (After the wedding, we don't see the bride and groom again, so they're not important to the story, anyway.) But it really seemed to me like they were pretending to be relatives of the Clearys.

Anyway... William's wife (Seymour) gets all cougar-y with John, who isn't exactly happy about that. And Gloria gets progressively more sexually aggressive with Jeremy, who still just wants to get away. (Eventually she ties him to his bed and apparently rapes him, offscreen, which I guess is supposed to be funny. It's not. And later, William's son Todd shows up in Jeremy's room while he's still tied up, and Jeremy seems to just barely avoid having anything too rape-y done to him by Todd. Also not funny.) Meanwhile, John and Claire continue to get along quite well, and it's clear they're developing real feelings for each other... until Sack has John and Jeremy investigated, and learns that they've been lying about who they are. So, they leave.

John spends the next few months seriously depressed about having lost Claire. And he wants nothing to do with Jeremy anymore. (It's not at all clear to me whether John is even going in to work anymore.) And... beyond that I guess I don't want to reveal any more of the plot. There is one rather twisted surprise that's kind of amusing (I guess), but otherwise the ending is fairly predictable and happy. And aside from a few aspects of the movie not appealing to me (see Pop Culture Detective's essays "Stalking for Love" and "Sexual Assault of Men Played for Laughs"), I mostly found it amusing, and most of the characters were pretty likable (some of them more than they had any right to be... which put me in mind of Barney from How I Met Your Mother). And... I guess I don't know what else to say.


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