Movies Like Wedding Crashers That Comedy Fans Need To Watch

Based on the initial pitch and marketing campaign, "Wedding Crashers" looked like nothing more than a generic studio slapstick comedy about two hooligans that wreak havoc on a formal event. By no means did it look like it was "elevated" comedy fare, and at the time Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn didn't have the same recognizable brand that they do now. However, "Wedding Crashers" proved to be a surprising smash hit that reenergized the enthusiasm for R-rated original comedies.

Given that many of the popular comedies of today are action-comedies, "Wedding Crashers" showed that all you need to appeal to audiences is a good story, charismatic lead performances, and a touch of genuine heart in order to justify the wild physical antics. The film successfully mixes romance and comedy without descending into melodrama, and the fact that it's hardly a traditional rom-com made it appeal to a much broader audience.

Directed by David Dobkin, the story follows the divorce mediators John Beckwith (Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vaughn) as they attempt to break into major weddings in a search for quick flings. Both men treat each wedding like a potential heist, but when U.S. Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) introduces the pair to his daughters (Rachel McAdams and Isla Fisher) they begin to develop actual feelings for the girls.

In lieu of an actual "Wedding Crashers 2" (which may still happen), here is a list of movies with a similar vibe to "Wedding Crashers" that are definitely worth watching.

Midnight in Paris

Owen Wilson has had a fascinating career trajectory from indie darling to comedy superstar, and he's one of the most exciting comic actors working today because of the genuine diversity within his filmography. Wilson started off on the indie scene collaborating with Wes Anderson, and co-wrote some of his best films including "Bottle Rocket," "The Royal Tenenbaums," and "Rushmore." 

"Wedding Crashers" showed that he could successfully be a leading man, playing a character who — despite his inherent idiosyncrasies and mischievous behavior — could still develop empathetic qualities. Wilson could make the romantic aspects of a comedy genuinely interesting, and he proved it once more in 2011 with Woody Allen's nostalgic rom-com "Midnight in Paris." The fantastical premise imagines Wilson as the writer Gil Penda, who is hopelessly nostalgic for the era of 1920s Paris.

While vacationing in the city with his fiancee Inez (Wilson's "Wedding Crashers" co-star Rachel McAdams as a much less likable character), he ducks out of her materialistic shopping activities and walks alone through the city each night. Surprisingly, he's transported back in time to the '20s where he meets iconic literary figures and engages with the culture that he's studied. "Midnight in Paris" has a heartwarming message about nostalgia that essentially says the past can be a place to visit, but not live in.


"Wedding Crashers" announced Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as the next great comedic duo. The two had an interesting mix of personalities: Wilson's meticulous, semi-philosophical musings contrast with Vaughn's fast-talking personality and endless quips. It proved that the two were well-matched to complement each other, but before Vaughn entered this recurring collaboration with Wilson (which also includes "Starsky & Hutch" and "The Internship"), he had another great screen partner who he worked with on many comedy classics. 

While he's now known as one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood and the shepherd of the modern "Star Wars" franchise, Jon Favreau began his career on the independent comedy scene. Favreau's script for "Swingers" follows struggling comedian Mike Peters (Favreau) as he recovers from a break up with the support of his best friend Trent Walker (Vaughn). Amidst the sincere story of trying to make it in the City of Angels and the sensitivity between two male friends is a wilder comic eccentricity from Vaughn. Like Jeremy Grey in "Wedding Crashers," Trent is a serial womanizer who is forced to reckon with his own plastic personality. In helping his friend recover from the loss of a relationship he thought would last forever, he realizes he's never taken any of his own romantic pursuits that seriously.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

"Wedding Crashers" surpassed initial box office expectations by providing a broader story than some may have initially expected. While the film isn't a straight rom-com that appeals only to couples or those interested in a happy ending, it's also more than just a raunchy, slapstick R-rated comedy. 

A decade earlier, Mike Newell's 1994 British romantic comedy "Four Weddings and a Funeral" launched to similar success and appealed to audiences of multiple generations and genders. Like "Wedding Crashers," the film became iconic for both its outrageous visual sight gags and the genuinely touching moments of earnest emotion. Both films recognized that there is more to seemingly cynical characters than one might expect. In both cases, it's ironically characters that profess not to believe in love that end up making the best romantic comedy heroes.

"Four Weddings and a Funeral" follows Charles (Hugh Grant), a womanizer who attends the wedding of his friend Angus (Timothy Walker) as his best man. Charles is drunk and delivers an embarrassing speech, but at the ceremony he meets the woman Carrie (Andie MacDowell) who he becomes smitten with. Over the course of two more weddings and a funeral, the two develop their relationship.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

If you had to explain the plot of "Wedding Crashers" on paper or pitch the concept to a studio executive, it would probably sound scattershot, ridiculous, and uneven. The story of two con men trying to break into high profile weddings, including that of a leading U.S. military family, sounds completely silly and unexplainable. However, this is also often the case with real romantic relationships. It's hard to explain love in words because it's inherently unexplainable, and every happy couple that has stuck by each other's side has a wild story that pushes the boundaries of believability.

2011's "Crazy Stupid Love" is one of the best modern romantic comedies because it embraces this absurd quality, particularly in the world of modern romance where technology, societal cynicism, and popular media have changed the way that 21st century couplings are developed. Like "Wedding Crashers," it features a memorable cast of characters in both lead and minor roles, and each romantic participant feels like only a slightly exaggerated depiction of someone who could exist in reality.

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) lives in a perpetually unhappy relationship with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore), who reveals that she's been cheating on him with David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Depressed, Cal hits the bar scene and strikes up a friendship with the slick, smooth talking womanizer Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Jacob attempts to coach Cal in order to teach him to be more charismatic, but he falls for Cal's daughter Hannah (Emma Stone).

Foul Play

By turning a typical love story into a kind of heist movie (with the title duo's wedding conquests as the bounty), "Wedding Crashers" distinguishes itself from other romantic comedies of the same era. The 1978 comedy classic "Foul Play" has a similar tension that runs throughout, and like "Wedding Crashers" it successfully merges genres. While it's certainly indebted to classic mismatched capers like "His Girl Friday" and "It Happened One Night," it also predated the rise of modern romantic action-comedies, many of which Wilson and Vaughn would go on to star in. The heart of the story is the relationship between police Lieutenant Tony Carlson (Chevy Chase) and the shy librarian Gloria Mundy (Goldie Hawn).

When Gloria becomes a witness to a crime, she's rescued by Tony who asks for her help in solving the case. Chase would become known as one of the most successful comedy superstars of his generation (similar to Wilson and Vaughn), but "Foul Play" was a more dynamic character that showed that he could be both a romantic lead and an action hero. The chases as Gloria and Tony elude the film's villains are similar to the ending sequence in "Wedding Crashers."

While We're Young

"Wedding Crashers" is surprisingly a social critique of the generational divide between characters who define love in different ways. John and Jeremy find that U.S. Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) has a very idealized idea about what a happy relationship should look like, and he asks for only the most lavish and elaborate weddings for his daughters. This is a sharp contrast to the more freewheeling lifestyle that John and Jeremy live, and "Wedding Crashers" makes the case that neither perspective is entirely correct. There must be a balance between traditionalism and modernism.

Noah Baumbach is a filmmaker who is uniquely attuned to the way that modern relationships are conducted as well as the ways that love has transformed over time. Baumbach has developed films focused on familial dynamics such as "Kicking and Screaming," "Greenberg," "The Squid and the Whale," "Marriage Story," and "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)," but 2015's "While We're Young" is the film that focuses heaviest on the generational gap. It follows an unusual friendship between two couples who — despite the moderate age gap between them — feel like they exist in entirely different worlds.

Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia Srebnick (Naomi Watts) are filmmakers living in New York City who yearn to have a child. A chance encounter introduces them to the young documentary filmmaker Jamie (Adam Driver) and his girlfriend Darby (Amanda Seyfried). Amusingly, these two very different couples end up befriending each other.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

"Wedding Crashers" is a fun screwball comedy that follows a pair of underdogs looking to be taken seriously. John and Jeremy are treated as less important than the rich party attendants that they meet, and John finds a rival in the eccentric Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper). There's a sense that the two are fighting against the system, and as a result their pursuits are actually worth rooting for, despite how ridiculous they get.

Studio comedies in the early 2000s were successful when they focused on actors playing characters that upend expectations to overcome pretentious villains. As a result, some wild comedic actors ended up becoming surprisingly relatable and dynamic protagonists. Vaughn characterizes this quality better than most, and he had another memorable star turn in Rawson Marshall Thurber's 2004 sports comedy "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story."

Pete LeFleur (Vaughn) owns a semi-respectable gym not corrupted by steroids or corporate interests. Pete is on the verge of being run out by his eccentric rival White Goodman (Ben Stiller), and discovers that the only way to save the facility he's worked so hard to develop is to win the prize money of a highly competitive dodgeball tournament. Pete assembles a team of outsiders, including Justin Redman (Justin Long), Gordon Pibb (Steven Root), Steve Cowan (Alan Tudyk), Dwight Baumgarten (Chris Williams), and Owen Dittman (Joel David Moore), who train to win the tournament and beat White.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

"Wedding Crashers" follows many beats from romantic comedies, and the moments of heartbreak surprisingly hit home. The film never falls completely into melodramatic territory when the characters are at their lower points, but there's genuine affection for John and Jeremy when they're separated from their crushes. These two losers have finally found something to actually care about, only to have it taken away from them abruptly.

Sympathy is incredibly vital in comedy, as characters that are genuinely relatable can make for dynamic and interesting performances. There are few modern comedy stars as inherently charismatic as Jason Segel, who embodies a lovable loser quality that has allowed him to give many unique performances. Segel's best work to date is in Nicholas Stoller's 2008 romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

Segel stars as the composer Peter Bradley, who works alongside his girlfriend Sarah (Kristen Bell) on a popular television show only to discover that she's cheating on him with eccentric rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Peter tries to escape his heartbreak by going on an island vacation, only to discover that Sarah and Aldous are staying at the same resort. He ultimately finds love with the receptionist Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis).

I Love You, Man

Part of the reason Wilson and Vaughn have been such a compelling comedic duo in "Wedding Crashers" and other projects is that there is a genuinely believable friendship between them. Often male friendships in comedy films can be defined only by banter or crass remarks, but Wilson and Vaughn found a reason for their characters to be lifelong buddies. They're not forced together just for the sake of the plot, but rather they actually feel like men who enjoy spending time with each other.

John Hamburg's 2009 romantic comedy "I Love You, Man" finds a similarly respectful way of depicting male relationships on screen with its story of bonding. Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is the perfect boyfriend who is excited to marry his fiancee Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones), but before the wedding, he faces anxieties about not having a best man to give a speech. Peter has always been more comfortable around women than he is around men, so he searches for a best man and unexpectedly meets the wild stranger Sydney Fife (Jason Segel).

Silver Linings Playbook

One of the most memorable characters in "Wedding Crashers" is Claire's hot-headed boyfriend Sack Lodge, a sports obsessive played by Bradley Cooper. Cooper depicts an over-the-top performance as a toxic man who would be genuinely vile if he wasn't so silly. Cooper was frequently cast in comedy films during this era, but in the 2010s his career took a shift when he started working on more serious projects and earned several Academy Award nominations.

David O. Russell's 2012 romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" is one of Cooper's finest roles, as it mixes more complex characters with a storyline that hits all the right rom-com beats. Cooper proved that he could take the "wacky hooligan" archetype that he had embodied into a slightly more nuanced direction. He stars as the former teacher Pat Solitano Jr., who lives with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver) after suffering from a mental breakdown following his divorce. He finds a new love in the widow Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence).

The Royal Tenenbaums

Family dysfunction is at the heart of "Wedding Crashers." Even though John and Jeremy are there to disrupt the formal ceremony, the Cleary family has its own issues prior to the wedding. Dysfunctional relationships are something Wes Anderson often focuses on in his films, and his 2001 classic "The Royal Tenenbaums" is a surprisingly earnest look at how families cope with each other.

The film follows the famed lawyer Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman), who trained his three young children from birth to succeed at the highest level. However, these heightened expectations gave the kids unfair expectations as they struggled to adjust to normal society. When Royal discovers that he is dying, he attempts to reconnect with his now fully-grown sons Chas (Ben Stiller) and Richie (Luke Wilson) along with adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow). The children are skeptical of their father's sincerity, but they grow closer as a unit as they reunite.

The Philadelphia Story

Modern romantic comedies and slapstick films like "Wedding Crashers" would never exist without the breakthrough of classic films from the '30s and '40s. Shortly after the introduction of sound, dialogue-driven films with complex, quippy one-liners launched a generation of stars. Such classics include "His Girl Friday," "Bringing Up Baby," "It Happened One Night," and "My Man Godfrey," but George Cukor's 1940 classic "The Philadelphia Story" features a premise similar to "Wedding Crashers."

The film follows Tracy Samantha Lord (Katharine Hepburn), the wealthy heir to a rich family who encounters her ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant). The two divorced because Haven did not meet the standards that Tracy's family had for her suitor. Haven shows up at Tracy's next wedding to the socialite George Kittredge (John Howard), and brings along the tabloid reporter Mike Connor (James Stewart). Mike is there to collect gossip, but Haven aims to reunite with his ex-wife and disrupt her wedding.

Meet the Parents

Comedy that is cringe-inducing can be handled very well or very poorly. Filmmakers don't want to push the boundaries of what is in good taste and prevent their audience from laughing, but in many situations an awkward scenario can inadvertently be very funny. "Wedding Crashers" does a good job at managing this balancing act, since Jeremy and Gloria's relationship in particular can be uncomfortable. Both actors embrace the physical comedy for hilariously awkward moments.

Few modern romantic comedies are quite as awkward as 2001's "Meet the Parents." After proposing to his girlfriend Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), the nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is invited to meet her family, including her hard-edged father Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro). A former veteran and secret agent, Byrne's stoic nature immediately clashes with Greg's sensitivity. Stiller captures Greg's awkward feelings of being out of place, and De Niro gives a funny caricature of the tough characters that he is known for portraying.