Wedding Crashers is a 2005 American romance sex comedy film directed by David Dobkin, written by Steve Faber and Bob Fisher, and starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Bradley Cooper, and Jane Seymour. The film follows two divorce mediators (Wilson and Vaughn) who crash weddings in an attempt to meet and seduce women.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Dobkin|
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Edited by||Mark Livolsi|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$288.5 million|
The film opened on July 15, 2005 through New Line Cinema to critical and commercial success, grossing $288.5 million worldwide on a $40 million budget, and is credited with helping to revive the popularity of adult-oriented, R-rated comedies.
John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey are Washington D.C. divorce mediators who crash weddings to meet and have sex with women. At the end of a season of successful crashes, Jeremy takes John to a wedding for the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, William Cleary. Once inside, the pair set their sights on Cleary's other daughters, Gloria and Claire. Jeremy ends up having sex with Gloria on a nearby beach during the reception. Gloria is possessive and quickly becomes obsessed with Jeremy, and Jeremy urges John to escape the reception with him. Meanwhile, John attempts to court Claire, the maid of honor, but is interrupted by her hotheaded boyfriend, Sack Lodge, who is unfaithful and disrespectful behind her back. When Gloria invites Jeremy and John to an extended weekend party at their family compound, John overrules Jeremy to accept and get closer to Claire.
John and Jeremy become acquainted with the Clearys: the Secretary's wife sexually harasses John; Gloria's brother, Todd, tries to seduce Jeremy during the night; Gloria continues to lavish unwanted sexual attention on Jeremy; and Sack repeatedly injures Jeremy during a game of touch football. At dinner, John spikes Sack's wine with eye-drops to make him sick and get more time to connect with Claire.
John and Claire continue to bond the next day on a sailing trip. The suspicious Sack takes the men on a hunting trip and pranks them, resulting in Jeremy getting shot in the buttocks. While Jeremy recovers, John and Claire go on a bike ride to a secluded beach. Claire finally admits she is not sure how she feels about Sack and ends up kissing John passionately. Meanwhile, Gloria tends Jeremy's wounds and reveals to him she is not as inexperienced as she initially let on. Jeremy realizes that he himself has been played and that he may be in love with Gloria.
While John is confessing his attraction to Claire, they are interrupted by Jeremy being chased out of the house. Sack has investigated (and then exposes) John and Jeremy's identities to the family. Betrayed, Claire turns on John and the Secretary tells them to leave.
Over the following months, John attempts to reach Claire but she refuses to see him. He attempts to sneak into her and Sack's engagement party, but is caught and beaten by Sack. Confronting Jeremy about abandoning him, he learns that Jeremy has secretly continued his relationship with Gloria. Betrayed and brokenhearted, John spirals into depression, crashing weddings alone and becoming nihilistic. Meanwhile, as Claire and Sack plan their wedding, Claire's doubts grow. Jeremy proposes to Gloria and tries to ask John to be his best man, but John turns him away.
John visits Jeremy's former wedding crashing mentor, Chazz Reinhold, who convinces John to crash a funeral with him. At the funeral, John reconsiders his belief in love and marriage after seeing the grieving widow. He rushes to Jeremy's wedding and joins the wedding mid-ceremony to Jeremy's delight. Claire is upset by his appearance, prompting John to express regret for his past behavior and profess his love for her in front of the congregation. Sack interrupts, but Claire finally tells him that she cannot marry him. Sack tries to attack John, but Jeremy intervenes and knocks him out, and John and Claire kiss. After the wedding, the two couples drive away from the ceremony together and discuss crashing another wedding together.
- Owen Wilson as John Beckwith
- Vince Vaughn as Jeremy Grey
- Christopher Walken as U.S. Secretary William Cleary
- Rachel McAdams as Claire Cleary
- Isla Fisher as Gloria Cleary
- Jane Seymour as Mrs. Cleary
- Ellen Albertini Dow as "Grandma" Mary Cleary
- Keir O'Donnell as Todd Cleary
- Bradley Cooper as Sack Lodge
- Henry Gibson as Father O'Neil
- Ron Canada as Randolph
- Rebecca de Mornay as Mrs. Kroeger
- Dwight Yoakam as Mr. Kroeger
- Jenny Alden as Christina Cleary
- Will Ferrell as Chazz Reinhold (uncredited)
Arizona Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Democratic strategist and CNN contributor James Carville both make a brief cameo appearance, they are shown congratulating the secretary and his wife on their daughter's wedding. McCain was criticized for his appearance in the film, having previously called out Hollywood for marketing R-Rated films to teenagers.
Andrew Panay, co-producer of Wedding Crashers, had the idea for the film based on his own experience as a wedding crasher in his youth. Panay then consulted the screenwriting team of Steve Faber and Bob Fisher to come up with a story based on this premise. The screenwriters had doubts it could be sustained into a feature-length film, so they decided to add female love interests born from a political family, inspired by their dream of marrying a girl from the Kennedy family when they were young boys. It was also Panay's desire "to explore male friendship through this crazy idea of crashing weddings."
On April 6, 2003, Variety reported that both Faber and Fisher had struck a "mid-six figures" deal with New Line Cinema to acquire the pitch for the film. David Dobkin signed to direct in 2004, seeing it as an opportunity to pair Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, who had previously worked with the director and gave him an Abbott and Costello impression when they were at the premiere of his film Shanghai Knights. According to Dobkin, the marketing department at New Line raised some concerns regarding the protagonists of the film, who were seen as misogynists whose goal is to seduce women at weddings and have sex with them. The director saw these characters in a different light, however, convincing the department:
They love weddings, authentically. They like the free food, they like the music and the bands, they like the dancing and the kids, they like talking to the grandparents. These guys make the weddings better. You would want them to crash your wedding.
That's the distinction. It's not misogynistic and, in fact, what it's doing is replicating a real seduction, which is, "I want to go to bed with you, but I have all these walls up. Can you make me laugh, make me attracted to you and find a way to make this really fun so we could get to the good part?" That’s a seduction. So, if I can seduce the audience — if I can make them laugh and be entertained and think these are okay guys — by the time they're dropping the girls in the bed, it’s a magic trick. That was the whole idea.
Director David Dobkin said they had discussed the possibility of releasing a version of the film that was not R-rated, but the idea was abandoned after a consultant provided a long list of the many R-Rated elements in the film, and Dobkin realized "The two funniest scenes in the movie would have had to go."
Dobkin insisted on three and a half weeks of rehearsals before filming began, based on his background working in theater. Principal photography began on March 22, 2004, in Washington, D.C. The movie had a 52-day shooting schedule.
The main Cleary wedding reception scene was filmed at the Inn at Perry Cabin in Saint Michaels, Maryland.[better source needed] Ellenborough Estate in Easton, MD is the setting of the Cleary family house, where most of the movie takes place.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 188 reviews, with an average rating of 6.72/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Wedding Crashers is both raunchy and sweet, and features top-notch comic performances from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 64 out of 100 based on reviews from 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A-.
Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times wrote a favorable review, and in particular praised Vaughan's performance: "Jeremy is the soul of the movie. There's something about Vaughn — the deadpan eyes; the sublimated, misdirected intelligence — that recalls Bill Murray in his "Caddyshack" years." Chocano was critical of Will Ferrell's "hyper-active bonehead routine" and called the interlude awful. She added that the film was "really just a love story about a couple of buddies who live happily ever after. And it couldn't have happened to a nicer, more charming couple". Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote, "It's crude, yes, but also funny; too bad these lost boys can't stay lost. Like clockwork, the film soon mutates from a guy-oriented sex comedy into a wish-fulfillment chick flick". Brian Lowry of Variety described the film as "fairly amusing, fitfully over the top and [...] occasionally a touch homophobic". He praised McAdams as she manages to "fill in narrative gaps and actually creates a real character", said Vaughan's dialog had most of the comedic highlights, and wrote that Walken was underused. Lowry concluded, "While neither a full-throated R-rated romp a la "There's Something About Mary" nor a fully realized romantic comedy, "Wedding Crashers" contains enough appealing elements of both to catch the bouquet in what's been a relatively humor-deprived summer.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of four; although he wrote that "there are individual moments that are very funny", he added that the director, David Dobkin, "has too much else on his mind". British Movie magazine Empire awarded it three out of five stars and were complimentary to Vaughn and Wilson, saying "Sharing an easy chemistry and free of the usual joker/straight-guy dynamic, Wilson and Vaughn quip, riff and banter to hilarious effect. And both get their fair share of money moments, the latter’s muggings are particularly hysterical in a raunchy dinner-party sequence. The laidback stars are funny and sweet, but they’re let down by a patchy script which squanders some potentially priceless set-ups." Kimberley Jones of The Austin Chronicle wrote that the film "will no doubt make buckets of money, but it’ll do so without half the wit, compassion, or inspired madness of Mary". Jones complained that the plot was "mostly cookie-cutter stuff", and was offended by the portrayal of minorities, writing "gays and blacks are represented, respectively, by a squirrelly psychotic and a Jamaican house servant". Jones concluded, "A stiff drink or maybe some pharmaceutical assistance might have made me overlook the film's sour tone, or the unremarkableness of its direction."
In a 2018 review, Scott Meslow of GQ reexamined the film, writing "the gender and sexual dynamics that have aged rather poorly, Wedding Crashers feels awfully uneven today." He noted a date-rape joke in the opening minutes, complained about the lack of developed female characters, objected to the sassy racist grandmother trope, called the predatory gay man trope "inexcusably unfunny", felt that the film trivializes rape, and called Will Ferrell's cameo lazy. Meslow conceded that "For all its faults, it does have an extremely strong pair of leads", but ultimately concluded that the film does not hold up.
The film was released in North America on July 15, 2005, and became an immediate hit, grossing $33,900,720 in its first weekend, opening at #2 in the box office, behind Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Exit polling indicated that 60% of audiences were over 25 years old, and almost evenly split between men and women. Considering its budget of $40 million and competition with heavily advertised blockbusters during the summer season, and the R-Rating limiting their potential audience, the studio did not expect the movie's level of success. New Line head of distribution, David Tuckerman said "We would have been happy with $25 million this weekend." The film eventually grossed over $209,255,921 domestically, narrowly outgrossing Charlie. It grossed $75,920,820 in other territories, totaling $285,176,741 worldwide.
On April 24, 2006, Wedding Crashers topped the nominations for the year's MTV Movie Awards with five including Best Movie. It won Best Movie, On-Screen Team (Vaughn and Wilson), and Breakthrough Performance (Isla Fisher). The financial success of the film has been credited along with The 40-Year-Old Virgin for reviving the popularity of adult-aimed R-rated comedies.
The DVD was released in the United States on January 3, 2006, and a Blu-ray was released on December 30, 2008. It is available in an unrated version ("Uncorked Edition") and in an R-rated version (the Blu-ray has both versions on one disc). It features eight new minutes integrated into the film and DVD-ROM bonuses. Also included are two audio commentaries (one by the stars, one by the director), four deleted scenes, two featurettes, a "Rules of Wedding Crashing" text gallery, trailers, Budweiser Wedding Crashers commercials, a track listing for the official soundtrack on 20th Century Fox Records, a music video by The Sights, and a jump-to-a-song sample feature. The film earned an estimated $145 million from home media sales.
In other mediaEdit
In a 2014 post on the website Quora, Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin said that he, Vaughn and Wilson once came up with an idea for a sequel in which John and Jeremy find themselves competing with a superior wedding crasher, played by Daniel Craig; but that this idea never went beyond the discussion phase.
In a November 2016 interview, Fisher stated that Vaughn had told her that there were ongoing talks about a sequel. As of November 2020, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were in talks for a sequel.
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In Washington, I work with boobs every day.
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once held hearings chastising Hollywood studios for producing R- rated films and marketing them to teens
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