A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wedding Crashers features sexual humor, imagery (bared breasts), and language (including slang for gay and lesbian sex and repeated uses of the F-word). There is lying, drinking, smoking, and sex (couples appear in various states of undress, including a bondage scene). The film includes a reference to "rolling a fatty," some rough touch football (hard tackling by a very competitive player, whom someone jokingly describes as being "on steroids"), a bloody beating, vomiting, a couple misplaced, comedic attempted seductions (both opposite- and same- sex), and a woman's masturbation of her lover under the dinner table. Note: The unrated version of this movie contains coarser language and more sexuality, though no more nudity, than is noted in this review.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Divorce mediators John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) are cocky, careless, and fast-talking hustlers. By day they counsel angry or otherwise miserable couples, but once "wedding season" starts, they attend weddings under fake names, in order to eat, drink, and meet women. Everything changes when John falls in love with Claire (Rachel McAdams) at her sister's wedding. The stakes seem high for this latest deception, because her father is Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken), her lusty sister Gloria (Isla Fisher) takes an avid liking to Jeremy, and her mother Kathleen (Jane Seymour) tries to seduce John. That, and, Claire is engaged to marry wealthy, well-positioned bully Sack (Bradley Cooper), which means that John and Jeremy's weekend at the Cleary compound is comprised of competitions and deceptions, as John tries to win Claire and Jeremy tries to avoid Gloria (and her brother, who decides he's in love with Jeremy).
Is it any good?
Raucous and happily obnoxious, WEDDING CRASHERS makes fun of liars and cheaters, ultimately celebrating a shlocky version of "true love." The premise of David Dobkin's frantic comedy has been described as a return to R-rated jokes (like the hair gel gag in Something About Mary), set against a PG-13 tide. But here the R leads to less risky or even imaginative writing than predictable uses of explicit language, sexual situations, and adolescent humor. At Claire's house, The Meet the Parents-style commotion includes familiar, if vaguely raunchy humor.
Usually, a little Vaughn goes a long way, but here he serves as welcome respite from Wilson's cloying romantic lead. Though Vaughn embodies the film's embrace of vulgar comedy, he also maintains a sense of irony. But Wilson is stuck with the "sincere" role in an otherwise mostly boisterous movie, and he's unconvincing during his moony-eyed romance montages and slow-moving amid the mayhem.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lessons learned by John and Jeremy. How do they come to realize that their self-centered gallivanting is immature? How does the movie set up a contrast between their deceitfulness and that of Sack, who cheats at touch football and on his fiancée?
Who is the audience for this movie? How can you tell?
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