Two years after the sexplotation comedy entered the realm of nuptials in the midsummer hit “American Wedding,” a new R-rated comedy returns to wedding season in all of its dewy-eyed, headache-inducing glory. In “Wedding Crashers,” Owen Wilson (“Starsky and Hutch”) and Vince Vaughn (“Be Cool”) play John and Jeremy, divorce mediators who eagerly await wedding season in order to don tuxedos and lie their way into strangers’ ceremonies and bridesmaids’ beds. Armed with phony cover stories and fake Purple Hearts to avoid paying at the bar, they gorge on hors d’oevres and take advantage of the romantic atmosphere to woo female guests.

Ah, yes, but when they plan to infiltrate the “Kentucky Derby of weddings,” the friends are quickly drawn into the bizarre family circle when they become interested in the two younger Cleary sisters.

Alas, they get more than they bargained for: As John awkwardly pursues Clarie (Rachel McAdams, “The Notebook”), Jeremy is bombarded with the frantic affections of Gloria (Isla Fisher, “Scooby-Doo”), a self-professed virgin who has serious mental issues of her own.

As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Vaughn towers over his co-star figuratively as well as literally. Wilson’s on-screen relationship with McAdams is stale and clichéd, despite the solid dialogue they have to work with.

Wearing what looks like the same espadrilles from “The Notebook,” McAdams brings her universal charm to the role along with her aggressive dimples. Wilson’s hayseed drawl provides a few funny moments, but the movie belongs to Vaughn, who can scream with his mouth full of wedding cake, spit while talking and deliver the most ribald dialogue with hilarious flair. His on-screen relationship with Isla Fisher is supposed to be secondary to the main plot, but it has the sweetness and spontaneity that lack between Wilson and McAdams.

The film drags toward the end, especially with a bizarre and embarrassing appearance by Will Ferrell (“Anchorman”). Of course, there’s the requisite falling out between main characters, followed by a dramatically interrupted wedding, various declarations and all the usual chaos that ensues.

“Wedding Crashers” is the perfect vehicle for the dynamic duo of Vaughn and Wilson, but it also shows that Vaughn has the potential to become a breakout star while Wilson’s once-promising career continues to wane. Vaughn has recently gained tabloid notoriety for a rumored relationship with his costar in the upcoming “The Breakup,” Jennifer Aniston, and his meaty charm continues to captivate fans. Unfortunately, Wilson’s hackneyed style of humor wore out sometime after “Shanghai Knights,” leaving audiences with a taste as flat as day-old wedding champagne.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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