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The Wedding Planner
2001 - PG-13 - Mins.
Director: Adam Shankman
Producer: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Jennifer Gibgot, Deborah Del Prete, Gigi Pritzker, Robert Levy
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Judy Greer, Justin Chambers, Alex Rocco
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Two words successfully describe "The Wedding Planner": Pee yew. With an exclamation mark. It's boring, contrived, silly and not very funny at all. Its two main stars, Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, share absolutely no sense of chemistry whatsoever. The plot allows for devilishly funny situations that never arise from the recycled and visibly tired script. It's like sitting through a rerun of an old movie you've seen a million times before. And not a very good movie, for that matter.

JHo - I mean, JLo - plays Mary, a wealthy wedding planner (hence the title) and control freak who is lonely and neglected in real life, forming no relationships for herself. That is, until she meets a doctor (McConaughey), who rescues her after she gets her high heel stuck in a pot hole in the middle of a busy highway. (Don't ask.) He takes her out to a fair and they dance and almost kiss.

Then she finds out that he's engaged. Not only that, but he's engaged to one of her closest and friends. And, to top it all off, he's also her newest client - she has to organize his upcoming wedding. Then, his fiancee flies out of town for a week, leaving the two flirters together to sort out the wedding, and perhaps fall in love with each other during the process. But that will mean breaking up the wedding, right? Matters don't help that Mary soon becomes engaged herself to a man she has known since childhood. Why? Who cares? It's all part of the contrived plot I was ranting about earlier.

First problem: The cast. JLo can't act. Not only that, there's no chemistry/sparks between her and McConaughey, who also can't act his way out of a paper bag (or from behind JLo's most famous behind, in this case). And she also can't handle the role of the Beautiful Lonely Single Female, a role Sandra Bullock can carry off because she doesn't act like a...well...JHo the entire time.

I like romantic comedies, especially the entertaining and sweet kind. A romantic comedy doesn't have to wow me over with its plot or technical achievements; all I ask for are likable characters and an entertaining premise, recycled or not. Good evidence of this is "Alex and Emma," a film I attended a screening of some small number of weeks ago. I enjoyed that film despite its many negative reviews because I found the characters sweet and the story entertaining. "The Wedding Singer" is neither. It is both annoying and revolting, with unlikable characters (who come off as selfish and whiny as opposed to generous and optimistic) and a bad bundle of jokes.

And as I stated above, "The Wedding Planner's" premise is like a rerun of another old romantic comedy - but not a very good one. The woman who has it all together is lacking love in her life; when she finally finds true love she can't have it. Quoting Dr. Evil, "Boo-frickety-hoo."

The movie was directed by Adam Shankman, who has directed "A Walk to Remember" (2002) and "Bringing Down the House" (2003), the latter of which is very similar to this film and also quite unfunny at times. But at least "Bringing Down the House" had a top-notch cast, and at least it made me laugh - if only a handful of times. "The Wedding Planner" didn't make me laugh at all; it didn't make me care about its cute couple; it made me want to vomit. That's not a good trait for a romantic comedy that boasts how cute and funny it is. Quoting one of the most catchy taglines for a film ever, "You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll hurl." Take away the laughing part and you've got a two-sentence summary of this terribly mediocre movie.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

 
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