Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Crash

The film review that follows is delivered in full, spittle-flecked Rant Mode. If you wish to avoid the sight of an Australian in high dudgeon, or SPOILERS about ‘Wedding Crashers’, go here.


On Friday night I was cajoled by a friend into seeing 'Wedding Crashers' at the local multiplex. You know, up until that point I'd never realised just how far or how precipitously our civilisation had sunk. I'd sort of absorbed the fact that the post-feminist attitudes to and of women were going backwards, and that the semiotics of modern fashion and relationships had all the depth of a dew droplet. But I hadn't had it shoved quite so rudely into my face before.


Sitting there in the theatre, waiting for the film to start, I should have been warned by the calibre of the latecomers. There were two types:


1) Brainless, screeching fifteen-year-old skanks in pink ugg-boots and denim minis brandishing mobile phones.


2) Their boyfriends, with gel-saturated hair and an air of dull-witted belligerence, putting up with them in order to get laid.


Appropriately enough, the film was preceded by the video clip for Jessica Simpson's version of 'These Boots Were Made For Walkin'', from the soundtrack to the Dukes of Hazard movie. It's difficult describe the clip without using the words 'sweet', 'merciful' or 'crap'. Suffice to say, imagine that you are in the garage of a particularly sleazy motor mechanic, waiting for him to finish fixing your car, and suddenly all the pin-ups and centre-folds on the garage wall come to life, pop off their pages, and start bootscootin'. That's pretty much the look they were going for.


I don't think Mrs Lachy actually gave anyone a lapdance during the proceedings, but I could be wrong, given that I spent a lot of my time looking at my watch. It was embarrassing, and about as sexy as being bailed up by an aggressive hooker while walking down the street.


And it was all downhill from there. 'Wedding Crashers' was crude: morally, intellectually, narratively and spiritually. It was the filmic equivalent of dissecting a frog in science class by slamming it with your fist. At its core, it was a cynical but simple story of boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, and boy must rescue her from the clutches of a cad, with a whole lot of high-concept froth spun around it to hook the audience.


But they were all vile, with the possible exception of The Girl. In order to make Owen Wilson's character at all sympathetic, his rival for the affections of the lovely Claire had to be rendered as the most grotesque caricature of cardboard villainy and duplicity since Billy Zane twirled his metaphorical moustache in 'Titanic'. Poor Claire. She didn't so much win a hero as win a reprieve from the matrimonial Anti-Christ.


To be fair, some of Vince Vaughn's lines were cleverly unpredictable, and there was a pleasant blend of colours in some of the costumes. But that's it. The rest of it was as delightful and uplifting as prison rape.


The most depressing thing of all is that this viciously ugly film has made over eight million dollars in just two weeks at the Australian box office. Therefore, we can expect ‘Wedding Crashers II: Crash Harder’ sometime in 2007. Heaven help us all.

2 Comments:

Blogger MC Etcher said...

Hmn, your review justifies the bad feeling I had, just watching the trailer.

It's a rare trailer that I can't accurately judge the movie against.

There are some utterly misleading trailers, however. They're almost an art form unto themselves.

3:39 AM  
Blogger phaedrus said...

Yeah, unfortunately I got roped into seeing this flick. Basically my reaction, once it had ended, could be summed up as: "Good Merciful Lord, what just happened?"

7:07 AM  

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