THE WEDDING PLANNER
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson Sampras, Justin Chambers, Alex Rocco
MPAA Rating: (for language and some sexual humor)
Running Time: 1:40
Release Date: 1/26/01
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Review by Mark Dujsik
The Wedding Planer may be one of the most cheerfully unamusing movies in a long time. It plays like a bad sitcom, and it takes the already stale romantic-comedy genre to a new low. How anyone thought the gags would be funny is a complete and total mystery. Maybe thatís where the fun of the movie lies: trying to figure out who thought this idea would work.
Jennifer Lopez plays Mary Fiore, the wedding planner of the title. She canít find a man (thatís a good one) and so her philosophy, "Those who canít wed, plan." Sheís the best in her field, and she displays her talent in one scene by shooting off fancy ideas to a rich couple that obviously has no interest in what sheís talking about. Eventually, Mary comes across an account that could gain her a partnership. Itís the daughter of the before-mentioned rich couple.
Now, the real arch of the story comes when Mary gets her high-heel stuck in a manhole. She doesnít want her shoe to be stuck there for a second longer, because (gasp!) it may be rolled over by an oncoming dumpster. I imagine the director of the movie telling Lopez her motivation for this scene. She would probably have asked, "Why would I risk my life for a shoe?" to which the director would respond, "Itís in the script!" Also, we wouldnít have a movie, because she must be saved by the handsome, laid-back pediatrician Dr. Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey).
For some reason, she finds him attractive as a human being, and they go to a movie played on the side of a museum. Iím not sure what movie, but it was probably better than this one. But I digress and must get back to the story. They dance, almost kiss, and call the date on account of rain (literally). Now, if you know anything about movies, itís obvious this man-of-her-dreams is taken, but hereís the twist: Heís engaged to the rich daughter! I lied. Thereís no twist.
What follows is a series of running-gags and just plain dumb ideas that donít even make the predictable material entertaining. Example: Thereís a scene involving a statueís genitalia and some super-glue. I donít know how they got this joke to go wrong, but it does. Itís predictable, tedious, and disturbing and so is the rest of the movie. Still, beyond the gags, the major problem of the movie is the fact that Mary and Dr. Steve are not a good pairing. Heís a jerk, and she deserves better.
Lopez is a very charming actress. I enjoyed her performances in Out of Sight and The Cell, but she is wasted here. Anyone could have brought the same qualities to the role, but no one could have saved it. McConaughey is completely miscast. I didnít believe for one minute that any parent would trust him with the health of their child. The only person to escape unscathed from this thing is Judy Greer who plays MaryĎs assistant Penny. She has appeared in small roles in Three Kings and What Women Want, and she had the lead role in the horrendous Jawbreaker. She is a very funny and talented actress, and she is worthy of much better material.
The final frames of the movie serve as a perfect metaphor for the whole. In them, the lettering of a very fancy "The End" starts to appear. It takes a little less than a minute (I kid you not) for the whole phrase to appear. The whole movie is like this sequence. We know whatís coming, itís dragged on far too long, and the whole time, it doesnít even entertain. But it still goes on and on and on...
Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.