On “Wedding Crashers,” Marriage, and Losing Touch with Friends
Wedding Crashers turned 10 years old this month, and the decade since has flown by in remarkable time. Apparently, our parents were right: the older you get, the quicker it passes. I find it even crazier that I’ve known my college friends just as long: when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were glamorizing the fuck out of their bachelor lifestyle in the frat-pack requisite, we were forming our initial fraternal bond. Over the course of this 10-year timespan, we’ve all finished college, enjoyed early post-grad debauchery, and somehow segued into becoming actual adults. One of us is married, and another one will be come next week.
While I’ve been anticipating the wedding and its accompanying festivities as being some ridiculous amalgamation of those we saw in our favorite movies growing up#, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in the distance that’s grown between us over the past five or so years. It’s amazing (and more than a little depressing) that you can go from seeing people every day to maybe twice a year at most in just a matter of a few. But fortunately, that’s what weddings are for. The emotional turn of Wedding Crashers saw John and Jeremy drift apart, only to be gloriously reunited with a simple wedding appearance#. It may be a bit of Hollywood movie magic, but that’s kind of how friendship is.
All you need to do is show up.
John and Jeremy lived the kind of lifestyle that Esquire and GQ promote incessantly: successful businessmen (divorce mediators, to be more acutely specific) by day, eligible and overindulgent bachelors by night. Neither I, nor my friends have crashed a wedding, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t at least something enticing at the time about the way John and Jeremy lived. James Bond may be one representation of wish fulfillment, but his existence was pure fantasy. John and Jeremy’s working class adventures were much more realistic and represented a freedom we all desired.
Our lives in those days were a sprint from weekend to weekend. If we weren’t having our own parties, we were at someone else’s, crashing more than a few in between. We went out on Sunday nights to stretch weekends, then regrettably went to class and work hungover. In hindsight, there’s no way this was sustainable, but youth has this funny way of convincing you that it’s a permanent state.
Nothing lasts forever, but you don’t fully grasp that until you’re old enough to start reflecting on moments you can still remember vividly. In the back of our minds, my friends and I knew we’d eventually evolve, but I doubt any of us expected it to happen so abruptly. In the movie, John and Jeremy are driven apart when Jeremy’s love for the nymphomaniac Gloria# divides the once-inseparable friends. My friends and I didn’t experience anything as dramatic as what they went through, but we were all eventually steered in opposite directions by differing priorities.
Over the course of just one year, we went from all living in the same city (and, for a time, the same house) to half of the group moving away. We kept in touch and would reunite sporadically, but within the next two years, another member of the group relocated. That left just two of us as the last men standing in the same city. Happy hours and weekends became valiant attempts to replace people like lost band members, recreate the past, and keep the spirit of our youth alive. Desperately clinging to your glory days only puts you on the fast track to becoming John and Jeremy’s mentor, Chazz — an aging bachelor who’s allergic to maturity.
Certain moments can’t be duplicated, just as some developments can’t be reversed. Soon enough, I found myself communicating with all of them even less — even the one who lives 15 minutes away from me.
Once you emerge from the quarter life crisis, the other side of 25 brings higher stakes. Your life’s focus shifts from exclusive devotion to fun and entertainment, to accomplishing the goals you set for yourself growing up. It becomes less about living for the weekend than it does ascending plateaus. One of my friends — the one who’s getting married — has to juggle that with raising children. We still have fantasy football shittalk to rely on, but it’s impossible to deny that we’re living very different lives.
Fortunately, as Wedding Crashers illustrates, weddings are a perfect place for reunions.
In this age of group chats and Reply All, there are few valid excuses for growing apart from your friends. Some people outgrow each other#, but that isn’t the case with us: we just grew up without realizing how rapidly it can occur. Along the way, we learned that upholding a lifestyle isn’t the same as living — the same gospel that John and Jeremy were blessed with in Wedding Crashers.
But whenever the five of us are together, we reconnect so quickly that it feels like there hasn’t been any lag in communication. That includes random dumb shit like impromptu public performances of Temptations songs and replicating the end of New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” video. So when my friend gets married next week, it won’t be people who used to know each other convening, it’ll be lifelong friends assembling once again.
Submitted To Film
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