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Wedding Crashers

(2005) ** 1/2 R
119 min. New Line Cinema. Director: David Dobkin. Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher.

By the end of the opening teaser to David Dobkin's Wedding Crashers, one of the poor souls suffering a steady patter of double-talk begs, "Could you two just not talk anymore?" To an audience appreciative of the comedy stylings of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, the answer is, happily, "No."

Separately, Wilson and Vaughn have provided the mouthiest end of a number of comedy teamings, and the opening scene proves the inspiration of their pairing. They're the whole show here, riffing up, up, and away from a standard-issue Meet the Parents-esque worst-case scenario by Steve Faber and Bob Fisher. Wilson and Vaughn play John and Jeremy, best-friend divorce lawyers who get their jollies by crashing the hottest events of each "wedding season."

The early scenes are dominated by an elaborate display of just such a season, a montage set, as it of course must be, to Otis Day and the Knights' "Shout." This feat accomplished, Wedding Crashers develops a plot involving one more wedding tacked on to the tail end of the friends' exhausting run. Since it's a high-society bash promising the best free food and hot-babe supply in the greater D.C. area, the boys can't resist.

Adopting two of their many aliases, John and Jeremy pose as brothers and swiftly become the life of the party. Each scores a hottie, but after Jeremy scores on the beach, he's desperate to ditch his "stage 5 clinger" Gloria (Isla Fisher). Unfortunately for him, John invokes the "wedding crasher code" to enlist his friend's continued support in the pursuit of Gloria's sister Claire (Rachel McAdams). The girls' father, Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken), breaks down and invites John and Jeremy to sail, dine, and bunk with the Cleary clan.

All hell breaks predictably loose, then cozies into romantic-comedy territory, and though the plot-driven gags are very old-hat, indeed (especially the shrill, but supposedly hilarious, rape-driven psychoses of Fisher's heterosexual "clinger" and her predatory homosexual brother), there's enough nutty nonsense coming out of the leads' mouths to just barely sustain it all (my favorites: a bet on the wedding's Bible verse, and Vaughn's riff on a childhood imaginary friend named Shiloh). Seen with forgiving eyes, Wedding Crashers is trashy, raunchy fun.

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