A dick-swingin' standout in a field of flaccid mainstream comedies, the hoped-for runaway hit Wedding Crashers actually has enough honest laughs to fill a 90-minute picture. Too bad it runs closer to two hours. Screenwriters Steve Faber and Bob Fisher obviously overestimated the narrative potential of their wonderful/awful premise: Duplicitous sleazebags cruise weddings in pursuit of feminine pulchritude that's been premoistened by crying jags. Before the whole thing collapses in a heap of maudlin complications and unlikely resolutions, we get to have plenty of evil fun watching counterfeit well-wishers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson exploit the hopelessly dewy culture of matrimony. The details are closely observed, from crab cakes as the reception foodstuff of choice to mortifying wedding vows that are rife with awkward metaphor. (Only the depiction of a gay teen as a creepy sexual predator succumbs to the ugliness the rest of the picture dances around but smartly avoids.) And in this era of pious pseudopatriotism, any movie that dares to show its "heroes" using fake Purple Hearts to score free drinks at a cash bar is a thing to savor.
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