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maryann johanson | takeaway only

Wedding Crashers (review)

It’s as wildly uneven as your cousin’s wedding — some of it is a blast, some of it wallows in ridiculous sentimentality, some of it is just dull — but your cousin’s wedding didn’t feature the tag team of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. These guys are two of my favorite performers today, Wilson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) with his windblown nonchalance and Vaughn (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) with his tightly coiled facetiousness, but their particular talents and charms are more often squandered than given the workout they demand. Here, though, their pairing — as a couple of winning rakes who crash weddings to party and pick up women — is absolutely inspired; they bounce off each other so well, each working as a foil for the other so perfectly that you can’t help but wonder if you’re seeing the next Hope and Crosby… if there’s enough good material to keep up with their unruly enthusiasm. Crashers, which manages to be both good-natured and raunchy — there isn’t a mean bone in its cinematic body, which is rare for “adult” comedies these days — drags out its protagonists’ thirtysomething crises a tad too long as Wilson’s cad falls hard for one maid of honor (the lovely Rachel McAdams), spoiling the boys’ carefree sexual escapading, and ends on notes of predictable, mawkish conventionality. The likes of the sneakily subversive Wilson and Vaughn deserve better… but this is darn close to a perfect showcase for what they can do, and how much better they do it together.

MPAA: rated R for sexual content/nudity and language

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