At my Thanksgiving Day celebration, the five of us present decided to choose a movie to watch together after dinner. I’ll make a long story short: I proposed “Waiting for Guffman,” but was outvoted. We watched “Wedding Crashers” instead.
The host’s sister had called WC “the funniest movie she’d seen in her whole life.” This was a strong selling point for me, I admit. Also compelling was her characterization of the movie’s brand of humor. I asked what kind of humor it was, on a scale from Crude to Sophisticated. She replied that it was more sophisticated than crude.
I should have known better than to trust the judgment of someone who had no fewer than three issues of US Weekly magazine in her possession. In short, the movie was entirely predictable, the jokes could be seen coming a mile away, and they were almost all quite crude. They were unfunny in the extreme, and separated by long, dull segments lasting several unfunny minutes apiece. Every joke was sex-based, and not a few relied on the fact that the actors were articulating things that had already been thought by the viewer. This, I guess, is supposed to make the viewer feel smart, or prophetic . . . or, in my case, cheated for having been given a line that I had just predicted a second before its on-screen delivery.
So: crappy movie, and at least 45 minutes too long. The thing is 2 hours, 8 minutes. Watch me sum it up in 10 seconds: Two morally bankrupt divorce lawyers crash wedding parties in order to get laid. At one of these, one of them falls in love. As guests at the ritzy estate of this woman’s father, he pursues her, while his friend tries to get away from her oversexed sister. They are exposed as frauds, but eventually this being forced to come clean leads to two happy marriages. (I’d compare it to “The Taming of the Shrew” if the plots were a little closer, and if there was anything else similar between them.)
Are there any movies that are sure-fire crowd-pleasers? In a crowd with a female Protestant lawyer who loves US Weekly, a male Catholic literature scholar who hates US Weekly, and three others who fall somewhere in between, it seems that no matter what movie you watch, someone is always going to come out disappointed.