Wedding Crashers. New Line Cinema presents a film directed by David Dobkin. Written by Steve Faber and Bob Fisher. Running time: 119 minutes. Rated R (for sexual content/nudity and language). Starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Bradley Cooper.

Wedding Crashers

Certain critics seem to feel obligated to mount intellectual defenses of rather simplistic films that they liked. It's almost as if we're not allowed to enjoy something unless it is intellectually stimulating or especially well-made. But you know what? Fuck those guys. Pull the stick out of your ass and have some fun for a change.

If what I just said pissed you off, don't bother with Wedding Crashers. It's simplistic, it adheres to formulas and clichés. There's rarely a narrative or emotional moment here that you haven't seen in some other form. Oh - and it's also really funny. So weigh your options; is it more important that the film be original, or is it more important that it'll make you laugh your ass off? For me, in this context, laughter wins.

Is the movie a great work of art? No, of course not. But it never aspires to be, and to hold it to those standards is just plain idiotic. When a movie's concept revolves around two guys who crash weddings to pick up chicks, you should know what to expect, and although that might not be much, trust me - here, most everything just clicks.

Wedding Crashers establishes its intentions through a bravura opening montage of alcohol, sex and nudity, in which crashers John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Klein (Vince Vaughn) seduce and bed lots of loose women. Comedies all too often fail to follow through on their lowbrow convictions, and it's refreshing to see a movie this determined to gleefully push the boundaries of good taste.

After the events depicted in the montage, John and Jeremy decide to crash the wedding of their lives. The Secretary of the Treasury's (Christopher Walken) daughter is getting married, so of course it's going to be a very big deal. At the wedding, both men set their sights on the Secretary's other two daughters - John wants Claire (Rachel McAdams), who already has a boyfriend (Bradley Cooper), and Jeremy gets Gloria (Isla Fisher), a clingy nympho stalker.

And John falls in love, of course, and he fights to get Claire's affections and to reveal that her boyfriend is really a jerk. Then they have a fight, of course, and then there's the climax in which John gives a big, emotional speech and wins Claire's heart. Of course.

It's all very familiar, but Wilson and Vaughn manage to keep it interesting. Playing off of each other in a way reminiscent of John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, they represent the best comedy duo of modern film. Wilson's laid-back charm and Vaughn's hilariously fast-paced energy contrast perfectly, and they manage to find humor in even the most clichéd of scenes. McAdams is delightful, and a natural comedic talent; following her turns in last years' Mean Girls and The Notebook, this is an actress we will be seeing a lot more of.

So bitch all you want about how Wedding Crashers sticks to the romantic comedy format and about how the climax sucks. Because it's still the funniest film of the year so far, and if that's not enough for you, then I'm sorry.

© 2005 Matt Noller, not that anyone would ever want to steal this