'Crashers,' a Buddy Flick with Chemistry Wall Street Journal movie critic Joe Morgenstern tells Scott Simon about the movie Wedding Crashers, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson opening this weekend.
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'Crashers,' a Buddy Flick with Chemistry

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'Crashers,' a Buddy Flick with Chemistry

'Crashers,' a Buddy Flick with Chemistry

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For single people, weddings are often about free cake, a free bar and other single and preferably free people. This weekend, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are free-wheeling Lotharios who crash weddings for sport, for entertainment--ah, but mostly for girls.

(Soundbite of "Wedding Crashers")

(Soundbite of a hand smack)

Mr. VINCE VAUGHN (Actor): (As Jeremy Klein) It's wedding season, kid!

Mr. OWEN WILSON (Actor): (As John Beckwith) You sandbagging, son of a...

Mr. VAUGHN: (As Jeremy Klein) I got us down for 17 of them already.

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) OK, now how many of them are cash bars?

Mr. VAUGHN: (As Jeremy Klein) Great question, love where you head's at, and two of them actually are. But I got us covered. Purple Hearts. We won't have to pay for a drink all night.

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) Oh, yeah, perfect.

Mr. VAUGHN: (As Jeremy Klein) We are gonna have tons and tons of opportunities to meet gorgeous ladies that are so aroused by the thought of marriage that they'll throw their inhibitions to the wind.

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) And who's gonna be there to catch them?

Mr. VAUGHN: (As Jeremy Klein) Grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly, pal!

SIMON: But the "Wedding Crashers" gets a little more complicated when love trumps libido. Joe Morgenstern is movie critic for The Wall Street Journal. He joins us from the studios of KCRW in Santa Monica.

Joe, thanks for being back with us.

Mr. JOE MORGENSTERN (Movie Critic, The Wall Street Journal): Well, you're welcome, Scott. I love that, love trumping libido.

SIMON: Tha--well, thanks. Who writes this nonsense?

Mr. MORGENSTERN: I hadn't picked that up in the movie, but you're absolutely right.

SIMON: What about Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson? Is this really chemistry?

Mr. MORGENSTERN: Oh, these guys are wonderful together. They--they're--this is, among many other good things, a comedy of language. The flow of language is extraordinary and the speed of the flow is extraordinary, particularly for Vince Vaughn. He's--I mean, it's amazing what he can spout out of this very good dialogue in very short periods of time.

SIMON: I don't know much about the director, David Dobkin.

Mr. MORGENSTERN: He did "Shanghai Knights" with Owen Wilson, and he did...

SIMON: So he did the Jackie Chan film, which...

Mr. MORGENSTERN: Yeah, that's right.

SIMON: ...I enjoyed, I must say.

Mr. MORGENSTERN: Oh, I did too.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. MORGENSTERN: I mean, in the w--he also did "Clay Pigeons" with Vince Vaughn. None of his movies are particularly well-made, and you can rag on this one for all sorts of reasons--it changes style by--I don't know how many times--so it is not a well-made movie, and this, I guess, is not a time for well-made movies. But it's so funny. And the guys who wrote it--two guys, Steve Faber and Bob Fisher--seem really to know something about how life is lived and turn it all into highly silly comedy. And I mean that as a high compliment.

SIMON: I gather Christopher Walken plays the father of a woman who thinks that Vince Vaughn is going to marry her. Do I have that right?

Mr. MORGENSTERN: He plays a blue-blood secretary of the Treasury who's daughter is being married, and two of his other daughters, as bridesmaids, shall we say just figure heavily in the plot. But I'll tell you, he doesn't steal any scenes here because the scenes are dominated by these two extraordinary comedians--and again, especially Vince Vaughn because Owen Wilson has become a known quantity. His character has some vague stirrings of maturity that he tries to sit on as much as possible.

SIMON: Let's run another clip. Jane Seymour plays a woman who would like to emulate Mrs. Robinson. Don't get excited. Don't stare too intently at the radio receiver. "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" walks into the bedroom and bares her medicine chest.

(Soundbite of "Wedding Crashers")

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) Mrs. Cleary...

Ms. JANE SEYMOUR (Actress): (As Kathleen Cleary) Awww...

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) ...this is pretty sudden.

Ms. SEYMOUR: (As Kathleen Cleary) You've been playing cat and mouse with me ever since you came here.

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) Mrs. Cleary, I don't...

Ms. SEYMOUR: (As Kathleen Cleary) Call me Kat.

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) OK. Kat.

Ms. SEYMOUR: (As Kathleen Cleary) Call me Kitty Kat. Ha-ha.

Mr. WILSON: (As John Beckwith) OK, Kitty Kat, this feels borderline inappropriate.

Ms. SEYMOUR: (As Kathleen Cleary) Kitty Kat!

SIMON: Is that kind of some of the maturity you talk about that Owen Wilson is beginning to take on?

Mr. MORGENSTERN: Yeah. That's a good example.

SIMON: Yeah, sure. Yeah. I understand...

Mr. MORGENSTERN: And the thoughtfulness.

SIMON: Can you see either of them taking on a dramatic role?

Mr. MORGENSTERN: What I respect and enjoy about performers who are good at comedy is their ability to do high-speed changes, their ability to surprise us, to be two, three, four things almost simultaneously. And I have to believe that given the right material, self-ironic, quick-witted, prepossessing performers can be very effective in the right straight role.

SIMON: Joe Morgenstern, movie critic for The Wall Street Journal, speaking with us from KCRW in Santa Monica.

Joe, thank you very much.

Mr. MORGENSTERN: Well, you're welcome, Scott.

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