Romantic Comedy: A woman has four days to break up the pending marriage of her best friend, a man whom she herself might just love.
Julianne Potter (JULIA ROBERTS), a food critic, and Michael O'Neal (DERMOT MULRONEY), a sports writer are longtime friends who briefly had a romantic fling years ago. At that time they agreed that if they hadn't married someone else by the time they were twenty- eight, they'd marry each other. When Jules gets an urgent message from Michael, she thinks he's calling to propose. Instead he's calling to inform her that he's engaged to wealthy socialite Kimmy Wallace (CAMERON DIAZ), and is getting married in four days. Jules can't believe it, nor the fact that Kimmy wants her to be the maid of honor. Asking for help from her gay editor, George Downes (RUPERT EVERETT), Julianne decides she has to break up the marriage, no matter what the consequences. As she proceeds with her many plans, including one where she and George act like they're engaged, she begins to wonder if she's doing the right thing and whether she really loves Michael.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Julia Roberts ("Pretty Woman") or of romantic comedies, they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
On appeal (down from an R) for one use of strong language and brief sex-related humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
JULIA ROBERTS plays a woman who wants and tries to break up her best friend's marriage because she in fact loves him. She also smokes and says most of the limited profanity (including 1 "f" word used sexually).
DERMOT MULRONEY plays the groom-to-be who's an okay guy, but not always the nicest to Kimmy. While not the greatest role model, he's certainly not bad.
CAMERON DIAZ plays the wealthy socialite who repeatedly forgives Michael and/or takes the blame for their brief relationship problems.
RUPERT EVERETT plays the friend on the outside who gives advice to Jules and briefly fondles her in a cab while pretending to be her straight fiancÚ.
Julia Roberts returns to the genre that made her famous, in "My Best Friend's Wedding." Like "Pretty Woman," the 1990 hit that made Julia a household name, this film showcases her strength in playing the romantic lead. After disappointing turns in "Mary Reilly" and "Michael Collins," it's nice to see her back again playing her strongest hand. While this film isn't as good as her earlier hit, it's still a pleasantly enjoyable, and occasionally quirky production. Roberts is outstanding in her role, although it could have been beefed up a bit, but her natural charisma overrides any problems in the way her character was written. Less successful is Mulroney as her love interest and best friend. Playing a rather bland character and not giving his all to the performance, it's hard to see why we're supposed to root for the two to get together. Even harder to swallow is why Julianne was ever attracted to him in the first place and their resulting chemistry together never works and comes off as mediocre. Much more successful and fun to watch is Julianne's relationship with her gay editor friend, George. Perhaps it's the far-fetched belief that they'll end up in each other's arms, but these are the two who really make this movie fly. Everett steals every scene he's in, but unfortunately disappears after a hilariously rousing sequence posing as Julianne's fiancÚ. During a wildy fun sing-along scene you feel that the movie has turned the corner and will be this way for the duration, but alas, that's not to be. Diaz is competent in her role, but it's the scenes where Roberts and Mulroney are alone together that drag the movie to a halt. Part of that is due to the low voltage emitted from their mundane chemistry, but also from the flat dialogue that fills so many of these serious romantic scenes. Fortunately, the movie survives these moments, mainly because of their brevity, but also due to the movie's lighthearted approach to sabotaging an upcoming marriage. Sure to appeal to fans of Roberts and the romantic comedy genre, one only wishes this production had a few funnier moments and a stronger plot with some more solid writing. Still, from the quirky but fun opening credits sequence to Robert's various plans backfiring on her, you just can't help but to like this film. We did and give it a 7 out of 10.
OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
A few sexual innuendos and lines of dialogue highlight the most objectionable parts of this movie. 1 sexual use of the "f" word is used for comedy, as is a scene where a woman's tongue is frozen to an ice sculpture of the statue "David" and her tongue is stuck in a most embarrassing place (but not seen from the front of the statue). Jules efforts to break up the marriage fall into the bad attitude category, even though she's doing this because she thinks she loves the groom-to-be. While it's played for laughs, it does have an underlying selfish and somewhat uncaring streak to it. Roberts smokes in several scenes, is seen the next morning after passing out from drinking too much, and spouts most of the film's limited profanity. The film's PG-13 rating is surprising since in most cases where the "f" word is used sexually, an R rating is the result (such as was the case for "Bridges of Madison County"). Since many children, especially young girls who idolize Roberts, will want to see this film, we suggest that you examine the content before allowing them to do so.
Julianne tries to break up the marriage using different tactics, some of which involve other people without their knowledge, all the while acting like a friend of the bride. (Granted this is a comedy, so it's not quite as mean as it sounds).
Both Julianne and Michael get Kimmy to sing at a karoke bar, something she desperately doesn't want to do.
Michael occasionally gets mad at Kimmy over things that Julianne has set-up, thus he doesn't treat her as well as he could or should.
1 "f" word (used sexually), 3 "s" words, 3 "ass" words (2 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 1 damn, and 2 uses each of "For God's sakes" and "God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "My God," "By God," "Oh my God," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
A dress fitter tells Julianne that her bridesmaid dress will be tighter since they wouldn't want "these" (her breasts) to fall out of the dress (no nudity is seen).
Michael walks in and catches Julianne in her bra and underwear (plain and not sexy) and she tries to cover herself up. He tells her, "I've seen you a lot more naked than that" and "You look really good without your clothes on."
The two other bridesmaids refer to themselves as "sluts" and one says, "You can just call us eager."
Some cleavage is seen in outfits the bridesmaids wear, as well as the dress that Julianne wears to the wedding.
Posing as if they're also engaged, Julianne says that George "came into town to f*ck me." Later he fondles her breasts in a cab after she tells him to act like she's irresistible, but she quickly moves his hands away. He then tells some women in the church that he's in town for a "quick pre conjugal visit -- if you get my drift." After that he pats Kimmy on her butt as she walks away.
Julianne jokes about the "hot affair" that she and Michael will have twice a year after he's married.
It's mentioned (and we briefly see this from a distance and then a little closer) that one of the bridesmaid's tongues is stuck on an ice sculpture. We then hear that it was an ice sculpture of "David" (the nude classic), and see that she her tongue is stuck to the statue's crotch.
As George dances with Julianne he tells her, "Maybe there won't be marriage. Maybe there won't be sex. But by God, there'll be dancing."