Thursday, August 25, 2005

Comedy On The Fly! Also Sodomy.

Wedding Crashers
2005, USA
David Dobkin
35mm

You know what’s fun? Hanging out with your friends. Or, at least I'd imagine it is, for you. I probably wouldn't like your friends, unless they're German and Protestant. You know what’s not so fun? Paying ten dollars to watch someone else hang out with their friends. And that’s what this movie is, 90 minutes of Vince Vaughn cracking Owen Wilson up, lightly spiced with Christopher Walken doing an impression of Jay Mohr doing an impression of Christopher Walken. Wow. That’s as close to metatextual as Hollywood has been since Julia Roberts played herself in Ocean’s 12, and it’s just as dumb. While I do appreciate the trend of R-rated comedies Wedding Crashers is proudly part of, as it’s slowly paving the way for the eventual success of my screenplay for the hilarious teen comedy ­Neo-Nazi Nanny, I do wish they’d put more thought into these pictures. As it stands, this new comedy clique is churning out pictures faster than CSI can mangle forensic science textbooks, and they’re really not putting in any effort. Films like Wedding Singers, Anchorman, and the like, all seem so rushed, so half-assed, that it just feels like you’re watching bad improv with nice lighting. Of course, that there’s any such thing as good improv. That just goes without saying. I suppose it can be mildly amusing, if you’re seeing it live, it features a guy you know from camp, and they’re serving booze in the high school auditorium you’re watching it in, but usually it just feels like you’re applauding because they managed to work the word ‘terrarium’ into a spontaneous rap bit composed of audience suggestions. Basically, people laugh because they’re acknowledging that the performers are slightly funnier than they would be in the same situation. It’s all sweaty, and manic, and uncomfortable, like feeling up your little sister in the ten minutes before dad comes home from work and makes you leave the bedroom door open. See that? That was improv. Not funny, but funnier than you would be if you were trying to review Wedding Crashers during an Ultimate Fighter commercial break. Plus, it’s shocking, which is one way you can get a laugh without being funny. Wedding Crashers is full similar hallmarks of improvisational comedy, from flubbed dialogue, to stepped on lines, to dead air normally filled with audience hooting because Wayne Brady made a joke about Colin Mockrie being bald.

Now that's funny!

I don’t suppose I need to explain the plot of the film, as the title essentially fills you in with all you need to know before heading in to watch Vince Vaughn waste ten minutes of screen time with a bit about maple syrup. Ha ha! Get it? He puts maple syrup in his hair! Like an idiot! How that got past a conscious editor is beyond me, unless of course there was four hours of cut material about how difficult it is to set a VCR timer and what the deal is with women and shopping clogging the Steinbeck. This is just a lazy, lazy movie. Vaughn and Wilson jerk each other off for a bit, feeding each other ammunition for rambling tirades and crude sex jokes, clearly more concerned with outdoing each other than with telling a cohesive story or playing actual characters. The improvs are obvious, and the staged bits seem forced and, on occasion, like the part with the bizarrely predatory homosexual, played by Keir O’Donnell as mix between Crispin Glover in Willard and a pederast, quite out of place.

This, however, isn't. Especially if you're an 11 year old boy

There are some good parts of the film, I suppose, like Rachel McAdams surprisingly strong performance as the one actual character in the entire film, and a bravura showing from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’s left breast. I’m not even all that thrilled at seeing Jane Seymore nude. In fact, most days, I would find it a terrifying instance of viewing a mother figure in a sexual situation, like those creepy bits in American Pie with Stifler’s mom, but in this case, it was a welcome distraction, keeping my eyes off Owen Wilson alternating between ‘earnest’ and ‘playful’, and my mind from the perpetual threat of Vince Vaughn barrelling his immense frame through the scene like Frankenstein’s monster with a book of Jackie Martling dirty jokes. Beats him making them up on the spot, I suppose.

8 Comments:

Blogger Sam Kahn said...

Are you going to go see Brothers Grimm? I saw it tonight, and I'm curious to see what you'll think of it.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Yeah, I'm definitely going to see it in the next few days, time permitting. Like Star Trek, I tend to only like every second Gilliam film, and this one looks to be a winner, but we'll see.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Kal said...

So you didn't like Faer and Loathing or Time Bandits?

10:30 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

I quite didn't like Time Bandits. I've got a thing with midgets, children, and insanity. Fear and Loathing was alright, though less so if you're not on ether at the time, but I find I like Gilliam a lot better when he's working within constraints. When he's left to his own devices, he gets a little carried away. Twelve Monkeys is one of my favourite picutres, however. There, I find the hallucinatory feel justified, and tempered with the realistic sequences. And Madeline Stowe is hot, in a MILF kind of way.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Fatman said...

Twelve Monkeys? Dude, just rent out La Jetee instead. You'd get a far better film that compresses Twelve Monkeys in under half an hour, done in 1962...so thirty something years before Gilliam's hack job. Homage my ass!

11:12 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Well, La Jetee is also one of my favorite sci-fi films, but it works on an entirely different level than Terry Gilliam's film, which, I would argue, is a remake, not an homage. Marker's version is cold and clinical, I find, mysterious but detached, whereas Gilliam's has much more engagement with the main character.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Arianne said...

Love this movie.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous HORACE ARBUTHNOT said...

i simply could not believe how embarressingly unfunny this so-called comedy was, there is not one laugh in the whole movie, it really is atrocious trash of the lowest kind, owen wilson and vince vaughn are such talentless farts.

11:18 AM  

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