On Monday morning, I headed over to the ArcLight Cinemas on Sunset for a promising double feature: "Wedding Crashers" at 11:35, followed by "Bad News Bears" at 1:30. Much like a baseball doubleheader, it's impossible to have a crummy time at a double feature. For one thing, you can't beat the two-for-one price. You have the little break in the middle where you can decorate a urinal, buy some Sour Patch Kids and check cell phone messages. Sneaking into that second film feels like breaking the law ... but not really. And when you step into the sunlight hours later, it feels as though weeks have passed since you were last outside. I love everything about double features.
Well, except one thing.
At the ArcLight, you have to pay twice. Not only do you buy an actual ticket with seat numbers and everything, they have ushers standing in the doorways to make sure nobody sneaks in. What is this, a U2 concert? It was Monday afternoon! There were like 25 people in the entire building! Good Lord, what's happening to this country? After "Wedding Crashers" ended, I actually had to walk back downstairs, then spend another $11 on a ticket for "Bad News Bears." Total cost: $20 for two movies. Only one of which I liked.
(Now, this is where you say, "Hey Simmons, screw you! I was stuck in an office on Monday while you were traipsing around Hollywood for double features that you can write off for ESPN. Did you stop at Starbucks for a mocha Frappuccino on the way home, you loser? I hate you! Kill yourself!" And you know what? I have no defense. In college, my entire life was consumed with coming up with a schedule of classes where I didn't have to wake up before noon. In the real world, my life has been carefully constructed so that I never had to work a real 9-5 job. So far so good. You might despise me today, but decades from now, I'm going to look like an absolute genius, an inspiration to every lazy person who ever wanted to continue to be lazy through adulthood without accidentally going too far and becoming a homeless person. That will be my legacy. You just don't see it yet. Back to the column.)
Before we get to the "Bears" remake, I wanted to review "Wedding Crashers" on the heels of my last mailbag, where I ranted about the lack of Rewatchable Movies over the past five years. When suggestions from the readers came pouring in, I watched as many as I could over the past few weeks, even agreeing with two suggestions: "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" (a tour de force under the right conditions) and a second movie that I'm not revealing until later this summer (for reasons that will become clear on that day). And "Crashers" had similar potential. When it was released two weeks ago, it broke the record for "most e-mails from readers telling me that I had to go see a movie."
Were we looking at the defining comedy of the decade, as well as the most Rewatchable Movie in years? I had to see for myself.
And the first hour? Fantastic. Uproariously funny. I laughed and laughed. I kept laughing. My stomach started hurting. I kept laughing. It's one of those comedies that you watch and think to yourself, "Crap, what a great idea, I wish I had thought of this" -- like you're getting angry even as you're laughing. The premise: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play two slimy buddies in their mid-30s who make a living crashing various weddings to meet women, under the time-proven philosophy, "There's no better place to get lucky than at a wedding, where all the women are dressed up, there's an open bar and romance is in the air."