Owen Wilson & Rachel McAdams Roles: 'Wedding Crashers' Vs. 'Midnight in Paris'

One of my favorite pastimes is pointing out actors who star in multiple films together and comparing their relationships between films. With Wedding Crashers turning 10 years old this July, it's time to analyze the relationships between Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers and Midnight in Paris. McAdams is currently working with other Wedding Crasher Vince Vaughn on Season 2 of True Detective, but her and Wilson were love interests in both Wedding Crashers in 2005 and in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris in 2011. And although the films had very different tones — and very different outcomes for the couples — the adorable actors always looked good together.

In an interview with Wilson, Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Nashawaty said to the actor, "Allen says he doesn’t see a lot of new movies, but the one of yours he had seen and what led him to cast you in Midnight, was Wedding Crashers." While it may seem unbelievable that the hilarious bro-comedy would attract Allen, it did. And I'm sure the fact that Wilson played opposite McAdams in Wedding Crashers didn't hurt his casting either. In Wedding CrashersWilson's character John Beckwith becomes instantly smitten with McAdams's character Claire Cleary. In Midnight in Paris, Wilson's Gil and McAdams's Inez are already engaged as they travel Paris together. 

While Wilson is likable in both films, that's not the case for McAdams. So, in the battle of their Wedding Crashers pairing versus their Midnight in Paris pairing, which is better? Let's break these movies down to name the ultimate winner.

Wilson's Character

Gil in Midnight in Paris is not that impressive of a human — yes, he is a successful screenwriter, but he longs for a different time and is struggling to write a book. Divorce mediator John in Wedding Crashers is much more charismatic, but he's also a pathological liar. While you're cheering for John to win over Claire in Wedding Crashers, you also realize that in real-life, this girl should probably steer clear of him. Gil may be a bit dull, but he's not a borderline psychopath — and he does love himself some good literature and art. But since we're talking romance here, who wants boring? 

Winner: John is just too damn appealing not to win this, so I name Wedding Crashers the winner of this category, although Gil isn't a terrible leading man either. 

McAdams's Character

Besides Claire having a horrendous boyfriend (more on that later) in Wedding Crashers, she's pretty much perfect. Who wouldn't want a bike-riding montage with Claire to Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime"?? Inez, on the other hand, is McAdams in a role more reminiscent of her big movie break — Regina George in Mean Girls. While Inez is gorgeous and has a cool name, she is a very materialistic woman. The role was juicier for McAdams than Claire and it sure was fun to hate Inez, but her general awfulness made me wonder why Gil and Inez were even engaged. 

Winner: Although I do appreciate McAdams being open to showing her range and portraying an unlikable character, Wedding Crashers must win in regards to McAdams's relationship with Wilson. 

The Hair

Looks matter when it comes to romance, so hair color and style must be considered when thinking about the success of these romantic couplings. While Wilson maintained his blonde hair for both films, McAdams embraced her chameleon-like lock skills and went from a dark brunette to blonde between the movies.

Winner: While McAdams was completely appealing in Wedding Crashers, her obnoxious character looked damn good with her lighter hair in Midnight in Paris.

McAdams's Characters' Parents

Inez's parents, portrayed by Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy are truly douchetastic in Midnight in Paris, which completely makes sense due to Inez's personality. In Wedding Crashers, her father is United States Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary, portrayed by Christopher Walken. Claire's mother Kathleen "Kitty Kat" Cleary (Jane Seymour) is a bit insane, as she showed when she flashed John her breasts. (That motorboatin' son of a bitch.)

Winner: Although there is bound to be awkwardness if John and Claire got married with Kitty Kat, when you've got Christopher Walken as a potential father-in-law, it's no contest — Wedding Crashers wins.

The Other Man

Wedding Crashers featured newbie Bradley Cooper as Claire's asshole boyfriend Sack. Not only did he not appreciate Claire, he also was a general jerk, to the point that you didn't care when John poured eye drops in his water, causing Sack to get insane diarrhea. In Midnight in Paris, Inez cheats on Gil with Paul, played by Michael Sheen. Inez gets points off for cheating (hey, Claire kissed John, so she cheated too — but Sack was also cheating on her), but it must be noted that Gil was trying to cheat on Inez with Marion Cotillard's Adriana, so he was no saint. Paul was disgustingly smug, but the women in the world who love Sheen like I do understand his understated attractiveness. And McAdams recognized it offscreen as well since Sheen and her dated in real-life for two years after Midnight in Paris came out.

The Winner: Chemistry that is so intense that it turns into a two-year relationship is palpable onscreen. Sorry, Bradley, but it's Midnight in Paris.

Movie Reception

Both films have favorable reviews, but only one got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and won the Best Original Screenplay award. With its Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes at 93 percent and prestigious achievements, Midnight in Paris definitely wins the opinion of the movie industry. But how about the audience score? Well, turns out Midnight in Paris even has a higher audience score than Wedding Crashers on Rotten Tomatoes with 82 percent liking it compared to Wedding Crashers' 70 percent. I'd be remiss to not note that Wedding Crashers had over 32 million user ratings versus Midnight in Paris's wimpy 79,000 ratings. Plus, Wedding Crashers raked in almost $210 million at the box office, while Midnight in Paris only brought in close to $57 million. 

Winner: Money doesn't talk to me in this case — the critics do. So the more mentally stimulating Midnight in Paris wins this battle.

Do They End Up Together?

Since most of Wedding Crashers is based on Wilson's character wooing McAdams, it's not surprising that the pair gets together at the end of the film — during Vaughn and Isla Fisher's wedding. Besides the ridiculous trope of interrupting a wedding to confess your love to someone in the wedding party, what was refreshing was the fact that the pair of John and Claire just decided to date and have fun. Wilson and McAdams were already engaged at the beginning Midnight in Paris and ended their relationship by the end of the film, leaving the door open for Gil to date modern-day Parisian woman Gabrielle.

Winner: In this battle, there's no contest, their relationship in Wedding Crashers is the one with more potential happiness.

Overall Winner

With a total score of four to three, McAdams and Wilson's relationship in Wedding Crashers takes the cake. Although it started off with a bunch of lies and a lot of dysfunction, this pair is the one that I'd want to party with. Cheers to the happy couple!

Images: New Line Cinema (2); Sony Pictures Classic (2); Giphy (4); f--kyeahmcgosling (8), bradleecoopers/Tumblr

Must Reads