A CRASH COURSE IN COMEDY
Not much gets me blogging these days, but here I am, so something must be up. I take my comedy very seriously. Even silly comedy. Last night, I ventured out to the Arclight to see "Wedding Crashers." Being a fan of both Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, I knew there would be some big laughs. And there were. However, the movie is sloppy. David Dobkin directed. I never saw his earlier efforts "Clay Pigeons" and "Shanghai Knights," but I suspect I would have been equally as frustrated with his work.
Right off the bat, there's a funny montage of Vaughn and Wilson crashing weddings, but it comes too soon in the movie. The audience needed another few minutes of getting to know Vince and Owen's characters (we already know their personas) before crashing weddings with them. The montage is funny and well-edited, but it's not nearly as satisfying as it should be. And really, that's my main criticism with this movie. Why in the world this thing is two hours long is beyond me. The third act was a mess, with several repeated beats and less laughs then the first two acts. I know that typically happens with a silly comedy when you're trying to wrap up an actual story, but the classic comedies, the ones we never forget, keep us laughing all the way to the end. You could feel the steam seeping out of the film, and consequently, out of the audience, as the story limped toward it's predictable conculsion. And I liked the predictable conclusion! It was cliche, but had a self-awareness about being cliche. It just took too long to get there once we knew where it was going.
I think Will Ferrell is hilarious. But I'm not sure he made me laugh more than once in his surprise cameo. Just like any over-the-top comedian, he needs to be directed.
Although a friend of mine told me I can learn everything I need to know about women from watching "The Notebook," I have yet to see the film. However, I will now, because of the truly adorable Rachel McAdams. I had only seen her play the queen blonde bitch in "Mean Girls," so it took me a scene or two before I recognized her. Once I did, I fell in love with her, right along with Owen's character John. She's cute and hot, not an easy feat to accomplish. And she's smart. It's hard for me to fall for actresses in the movies if there isn't a detectable intelligence behind the eyes. Rachel McAdams has it, and it's going to help make her a gigantic movie star.
Cameron Diaz walked out of the theater behind us, looking gorgeous in that "I'm just a regular girl kind of way." It's the fourth time I've seen her in public, and I've never been disappointed. I just hope she never stars in a movie that David Dobkin directs.