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Wedding Crashers (2005) 

Week of February 23, 2006

In Swingers, Vince Vaughn was pretty hot. Smooth skin, smooth lines, sharp suits and a long, svelte frame understandably made the ladies swoon. But what a difference a decade of decadence makes. In 2005's smash hit Wedding Crashers, an ashen, doughy, seemingly perma-hungover Vaughn must rely exclusively on his wit and wile to pull chicks.

This evolution — or devolution, depending on how you look at it — is not uncommon for males making the uneasy segue into their mid-thirties. The old metabolism no longer wipes out the caloric effects of that half-rack you drank last night, and gray finds its way into the temples of the coiffure. That hot post-collegiate trim you used to kick out of bed in the morning is now attainable if and only if you've nurtured the perfect combination of smarts, skills, teddy-bear lovability and conversational dexterity.

In landing a luscious, aristocratic (if a tad bit psychotic) redhead in Wedding Crashers, Vaughn employs all of the above. And having bedded said redhead on the banks of the Potomac, he realizes he is in no condition to trade up. Instead, he takes stock of his good fortune and locks her up by way of a marriage proposal — as Darwinian a path to the altar as has ever been portrayed on film.

Never again will the author trek to the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, where a staff member blindfolds him and escorts him to the movie shelves.

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