Various Artists, ‘Wedding Crashers’ (New Line Records)
Spoon is the Owen Wilson of rock bands. Let us count the ways: Both Spoon and Wilson are from Austin, Texas. Both Britt Daniels and Wilson possess a laidback, blond raffishness that charms ladies from both sides of the Rio Grande. Both the band and the actor have a dry, almost effortless sense of humor that radiates from their music and persona (respectively). It follows, then, that the mainstream indie Spoon would be included on the Wedding Crashers soundtrack, the ultimate mainstream vehicle for the formerly-indie Wilson. Sadly, there is not a song on the soundtrack that is a Vince Vaughn equivalent (though the old-timey, honkey-tonk hit “Summertime” comes close), most of the Wedding Crashers soundtrack is well-chosen and appropriate for the subject matter of the film.
As big-budget Hollywood romances go, Wedding Crashers is a unique, entertaining, and subversive comedy. The songs chosen for the soundtrack come from several of the hottest indie rock bands around these days, and while a few of them border on saccharine (particularly the Long Winters’ “Cinnamon,” which is a bit pukeworthy), most of the songs on the soundtrack reflect the same combination of bawdy, good-natured humor with a tad of clichéd true love thrown in for good measure.
Robbers on High Street’s “Love Underground” is a snappy, two-minute crowd-pleaser that is undoubtedly the highlight of the album. On a more pensive note, Bloc Party’s “This Modern Love” strikes a definite chord, reflective of the scenes where Owen Wilson sheds his smarmy exterior and leaves himself open to fall for Rachel McAdams’ character. Bloc Party’s lyrics strike the near-impossible combination of earnestness and specificity so as not to make the song maudlin. “Don’t get offended if I seem absent-minded,” Kele Okereke sings, “Just keep telling me facts and making me smile.”
Slightly less satisfying is the last track on the album, which is credited as Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson & the Klezmer Juice Band doing “Hava Nagilah.” Sadly, there’s no sign of Vaughn’s sarcastic growl and Wilson’s nasal twang on this rendition of every Jew’s favorite wedding song. Aside from Vince Vaughn exclaiming at the beginning “Mazel Tov! From my Family to yours!” we barely hear from the dynamic duo for the rest of the track.
The disappointment of a half-assed “Hava Nagilah” notwithstanding, the Wedding Crashers soundtrack is rousing fun and a good companion to such an enjoyable movie. If you’re looking for a new make-out song, check out track 13, Rilo Kiley’s “More Adventurous,” as a special bonus. And if you don’t have a current make-out partner, just snuggle up to a magazine spread of Vaughn and Wilson. They make good company.