There’s something to be said for the sight of Vince Vaughn’s package being rubbed, in extreme close-up, through his dinner slacks. Not because the image is a particularly pleasant one, mind you, but because it’s indicative of the ribald Wedding Crashers’ mature-themed immaturity. An R-rated, Maxim-friendly riot that embraces the fact that discussions about sex usually involve terms more risqué than “making love,” David Dobkin’s comedy involves screw-happy John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn), best buddies whose primary hobby is crashing nuptial festivities. Two raging ids on perpetual panty patrol, John and Jeremy are con men who use phony identities and manipulative tactics to bed horny hotties, treating their seasonal pastime like athletes preparing for the Super Bowl (confirmed by their wedding crashing “rules,” including #76: “No excuses, play like a champion”).
Spouting rapid-fire raunch such as “Are they built for speed or built for comfort?” when inquiring about an older woman’s implants, or referring to a common foreplay game he’s dubbed “Just the Tip of It” (performed “just to see how it feels”), Vaughn’s Jeremy is the maniacal bad boy to Wilson’s increasingly disillusioned lothario John, whose naughtiness is limited to randomly calling his partner-in-crime “baba ghannouj” and referencing Bon Jovi (“We’ve been to a million weddings, and guess what. We’ve rocked them all”). The duo’s unapologetically shallow and deceitful wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am routine is undone when John falls for Claire (Rachel McAdams), the daughter of a prominent senator (Christopher Walken) he meets at a reception and—over the vociferous objections of Jeremy, who’s being stalked by Claire’s insane sister Gloria (Isla Fisher)—continues to woo at an ensuing weekend getaway at her WASP family’s waterfront estate.
Written by Steve Faber and Bob Fisher, Dobkin’s formulaic but nonetheless consistently amusing film has a bawdy bachelor party vibe that, such as with an orgiastic montage of champagne cork popping, dance floor reveling, and smiling topless women, always remains cognizant of its own inherent silliness. As with most weddings, things run on too long as the film slogs its way through Meet the Parents-style pap involving Claire’s misogynistic fiancé (Bradley Cooper) and a conventionally romantic race-to-the-altar third act in which John confirms the accuracy of his own pick-up line “True love is finding the soul’s counterpoint in another.” Yet before its maple syrupy finale lionizes matrimony over masculine sluttiness, Wedding Crashers’ portrait of guy’s guys and their sleazy womanizing ways effectively exploits in-your-face motormouth Vaughn and slackerish Wilson’s complementarily contrary comedic styles to create a funny, foul-mouthed fusion of lewd promiscuity and—in John and Jeremy’s brotherly (but never homoerotic) relationship—monogamous man-love.