Film Face-off: 'The Internship' vs. 'Wedding Crashers'

Film Face-off: 'The Internship' vs. 'Wedding Crashers'

Jun 10, 2013

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are hilarious or were hilarious? That is the question. At least that will be the question we answer by the time this Film Face-off is over.

Vaughn and Wilson first appeared on-screen together in 2004's Starsky & Hutch, but it was 2005's Wedding Crashers that made them a comedic duo. Now, eight years later, the boys are back, and this time it's not weddings they are crashing, it's... Google. Sigh, writing that sentence seemed a little forced, just like this reunion. Sure, Wedding Crashers made more than $200 million at the box office, and it's almost universally liked as a raunchy, romantic comedy (scoring a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes). So why not get the gang back together? This time Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Date Night) is directing the pair.

Let's see if lighting can strike Vaughn and Wilson twice, or at least knock them out, so they can't team up again. It's Wedding Crashers vs. The Internship in this week's Film Face-off.

 

The Setting

Wedding Crashers

Weddings. The idea sells itself immediately. Two guys crash weddings, then one of them falls for a woman and pursues her. Most of us find weddings fun, or at least ripe for comedic hijinks. Plus, the film makes sure these guys are crashing some pretty nice parties.

The Internship

Google. While some of us have had internships, getting a glimpse behind the scenes at one of the most prominent companies in America is a new one. Having middle-aged men regress from a full-time sales job to a summer internship also could bring the laughs.

Winner: Wedding Crashers

I've been able to tour a Nike campus, and thought I would want to pull back the curtain with Google. I remember thinking, cool, they actually got Google to participate. Do you realize the problem with that? Google doesn't want to look bad. In other words, The Internship gained access, but lost the upper hand. Can you imagine Wedding Crashers not being allowed to make fun of wedding bands? We wouldn't have met the Dan Band, and we'd all be sadder for it. The Internship is filled with little moments like showing off free food in the cafeteria, or a one-story slide in the headquarters, but none of this is used for comedy's sake. Whether it's trying to guess the Bible passage at the ceremony, or some fake tears, the wedding setting absolutely pays off in Crashers.

 

Vince Vaughn

Wedding Crashers

Vaughn's Jeremy Grey is a slick-talking divorce mediator in Washington D.C. He never wants to grow up, and even tries to hide the fact that he falls for sexpot Gloria Cleary (Isla Fisher).

The Internship

Vaughn's Billy McMahon is a slick-talking salesperson who can get anyone to buy anything. He decides to toss that away for an internship, but watch out, because he has a history of letting people down.

Winner: Wedding Crashers

I like my Vaughn racing full-steam ahead. He's going 200 mph in Wedding Crashers, but in The Internship he's stuck in the right lane for most of the film. There are character beats with Billy that don't exactly add up. How does he have a history of letting people down? Wilson's Nick never seems to notice this. Also, if he's desperate for money, how is he paying for anything with an internship? All of this could be forgivable if Vaughn were funny, but instead it comes off as a sad 40-something trying to get the younger generation to party with him. In Wedding Crashers, he is the party.

 

Owen Wilson

Wedding Crashers

Wilson's John Beckwith is a slick-talking divorce mediator in Washington D.C. He loves his party life of picking up women, but may have finally found one (Rachel McAdams) who he wants to settle down with.

The Internship

Wilson's Nick Campbell is a salesperson out of work, and willing to take a chance with his friend Billy by getting an internship. Not only does he love his new work, a driven executive (Rose Byrne) has caught his eye as well.

Winner: Wedding Crashers

I do not believe Nick is capable of learning HTML5 and C++ over the summer, no matter where he is, yet that's exactly what happens in The Internship. While Wilson's characters take a backseat to Vaughn's in boisterous bravado, it's Wilson's that lead the film. When this happens in Wedding Crashers, and John starts to get into his lying relationship a little too deep with Claire, the movie does suffer a little. It goes from "great" to "good." I will say, the only slightly redeemable moments in The Internship are when Nick pursues Dana. Giving her many years worth of awful men in just one date night is a nice touch. Unfortunately that only takes this film from "bad" to "occasionally bearable."

 

Supporting Cast

Wedding Crashers

There's a character named Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper), need I say more? Fine, I'll say more. We also have McAdams, Christopher WalkenJane Seymour's breasts, the discovery of Isla FisherKeir O'Donnell and a cameo from Will Ferrell.

The Internship

Yes, you get a cameo from Ferrell, plus moments with Josh GaddJohn Goodman and Rob Riggle. Most of the film is with Tobit RaphaelTiya SircarDylan O'Brien and Josh Brener along with Byrne and Aasif Mandvi.

Winner: Wedding Crashers

The only character I have never cared for in Crashers is O'Donnell. It doesn't feel like the film respects his uncomfortable sexual awakening for anything but an easy punchline. Raphael's character reminds me of this, as he turns to self-mutilation when stressed (which perhaps could be funny, but isn't here). Goodman is wasted, just like he was in The Hangover Part III, which is ruining my theory that Goodman makes everything better. Eight years ago, I remember thinking Fisher would become a bigger star, and she has. Time will tell, but I definitely didn't have that same feeling from anyone new in The Internship.

 

Great Quotes

Wedding Crashers

"Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bull's-eye." "Mom the meatloaf!""Just the tip, just to see how it feels." "What are you doing? It's a game of touch football, every time I look over you're on your ass again."

The Internship

"Googliness." "We’re looking at some sort of mental Hunger Games against a bunch of genius kids for just a handful of jobs." "We were stuck in a blender and now we're saving lives. What?" "I'd do anything for my little show pony."

Winner: Wedding Crashers

Comedies are typically proven to stand the test of time by how much you quote the lines with your friends. Back in the day, I might have used the "lower back" quote a time or two dozen. With Wedding Crashers you wanted to talk like those guys. With The Internship you cringe at some of the attempted moments. There are many, many versions of taking the word Google and reworking them into what they hoped was a catchphrase. It didn't work. What I failed to mention in the quotes above is how often pop-culture references are made in The Internship. It seems they think it would be enough to bring up Star Wars, The Terminator, Back to the Future and Flashdance. Flashdance is really focused on for the heart of the film, which should have only made the other characters think, "This old guy is obsessed with an '80s stripper movie."

 

OVERALL WINNER

Wedding Crashers over The Internship, 5-0.

This is the second sweep in Film Face-off history. Our first occurred when Leonardo DiCaprio took down Tobey Maguire. I was a little surprised that one was a shut-out, and actually felt a little bad for the very likable Maguire. I don't feel bad for The Internship. I actually feel a little sad for Vaughn and Wilson. The entire film feels like a desperate plea for these two actors to stay relevant to a younger generation. They were the kings of the summer in 2005, and made us cackle in delight. Now, in this film, they're taking college kids to a strip bar, and getting them wasted. It was uncomfortable, and that's the only part of the film that doesn't feel like an advertisement for Google. Eight years from now, I don't want a film to say, "From the guys who brought you Wedding Crashers and The Internship."

Categories: Features, In Theaters
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Facebook on Movies.com

The Burning Question

In the movie The Giver, what is the name of the character played by Brenton Thwaites

  • General Omer
  • Meg
  • Jonas
  • Kelly Cooper
Get Answer Get New Question

Jonas