• It’s an odd combination for the archives: Dobkin’s direction is amazing in the first 15-20 minutes with the set-up of the initial scene and of course the wedding montage—great work. Then the superior talents of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson then take over. These are two performers who have collaborated on most artistically ambitious works (Wilson’s work with Wes Anderson of course and Vaughn in Swingers). Key supporting performances from up-comer Bradley Cooper, Walken and Will Ferrell combined with a great dialogue-centric script—puts it in the archives
  • Vaughn is in top form here and I think still steals the show despite all the talent involved. The role plays upon his talents as an eccentric – like “Double-down Trent” in Swingers. It’s an infectious humor and energy that’s really palpable beyond the sly comedic nuances like his absurd ties and the constant eating in every scene
  • The dialogue is loaded with good writing—terms ‘strange ass” and “shut your mouth when you’re talking to me”. There’s the “tattoo on the lower back” line, “we’re not THAT young” “bet that blonde was a real shot of life”, “motorboat” and “meatloaf”
  • Bradley Cooper wouldn’t fully arrive until Silver Linings Playbook in 2012 but he’s a fantastic 1980’s movie bully here- pure evil
  • Inspired soundtrack—Coldplay’s “Sparks” and “In the Summer Time” by Mungo Jerry
  • Little comedic touches like alcoholic Jane Seymour’s elbow sliding off the dinner table during the prayer slays me
  • Heavy wipe edits hurt—not pretty—and the film, in general, tails off after the visit at the Cleary’s house (wedding/reception/sleepover all great) – it’s 2 full hours and is a better film at 100 minutes
  • Recommend but not in top 10 of 2005