THE WEDDING PLANNER (2001)

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Elizabeth

Over the years, I’ve spent a good amount of time defending Matthew McConaughey and his acting. It started when I was way younger and thought he was one of the best looking and well-built guys on the planet. And then in middle school I read A Time To Kill, which made me see the movie, which made me really fall in love with McConaughey because he was just so good in it. I usually cited that and Contact as examples whenever anyone made fun of him for doing movies like Sahara, Failure to Launch, or How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. Or . . . The Wedding Planner.

Although I would be lying if I said I hated this movie when I first saw it. I was thirteen when I saw it in theaters, and I’m starting to think around thirteen and female is the true target audience for romantic comedies (especially PG-13 ones). I thought Mary (Jennifer Lopez) was sort of annoying, but mostly cute and charming. I thought Eddie (McConaughey) was kind of a jerk, but mostly cute and charming (and hunky). And watching it again now, all of that is still sort of true. There are definitely worse and more offensive romantic comedies. Buuuuut that doesn’t really make The Wedding Planner a good movie.

Mary is the wedding planner in question. She is Italian-American, despite Jennifer Lopez being arguably the most famous Latina woman in the US – especially in early 2001. And her Bronx/Latina accent didn’t really help sell the whole Italian thing. She meets Eddie, a seemingly perfect pediatrician whom she hits it off with and nearly kisses. She then finds out that Eddie is the fiancé of her new client, Fran (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras). She continues to plan the wedding, and Mary and Eddie continue to love-hate each other the entire time. In the background, Mary’s father Salvatore (Alex Rocco) is extremely concerned that Mary is in her thirties (Lopez was 31 when this was filmed) and unmarried. So throughout the entire movie, Salvatore tries to convince Mary to marry an Italian guy she just met, Massimo (Justin Chambers).

Unfortunately, McConaughey’s character was the hardest for me to get behind. He didn’t kiss Mary that first night they met, but he straight up went on a date with her, slow danced with her, and leaned in for a kiss. I’m not saying it’s the same thing as sleeping together, but from what we saw, he (at least emotionally) cheated on Fran that night. So we know pretty early on that he’s not that great of a guy, and is actually kind of sleazy. At first Mary and Eddie try to hate each other, but the more time they spend together, the flirtier and friendlier they get, until they’re spending time together without Fran at all. One day, while shopping for flowers, Eddie and Mary run into Mary’s ex, who cheated on her and is now married with a baby on the way. Seeing him puts Mary into a manic depressive state that ultimately results in her getting drunk. Eddie valiantly brings her drunk self back to her house, where she quickly seems much less drunk, to comfort her. To do this, Eddie decides they should roast some marshmallows.

Wedding Planner Clip 1

Can someone explain to me why anyone would ever think it would make sense to roast marshmallows over a scented candle . . . when you have a ROARING FIRE literally right behind you?

Anyway, this marshmallow date causes Eddie to essentially tell Mary that he like-likes her, but she turns him down because of, you know, being nearly married. To help cope with her loss of Eddie, Mary decides . . . to go ahead and marry Massimo! You know, the Italian guy she doesn’t really know but her dad was forcing on her and was honestly extremely annoying and childlike! She even puts on a wedding dress and goes to the court house with him. Luckily, she decides to get married on the same day of Fran and Eddie’s wedding, who realize that they probably shouldn’t be getting married. Even luckier, Mary comes to her senses and bails on her ridiculous plan. All so she and Eddie can end up together! Fuck you, Fran!

So yeah, like an odd number of romantic comedies, the main relationship here is based on lies and cheating. And McConaughey is charming – but almost to the point of being creepy once we realize he’s not all that great and nice. So is this the worst movie ever? No . . . but really not that great.

Christopher

When I think of this movie I think of it playing on TBS and I think of my sister watching it a lot when we were younger. Watching this movie now, it’s hard to think that that’s the same Matthew McConaughey from True Detective. The thing that stays the same though is how I feel about wedding movies and the people in them. Aren’t weddings just a small event that kicks off being with the person that you love for the rest of your life? In movie like this it’s never about that, it’s just about the event, a wedding.

In all of these films there is always someone, generally a lady since apparently the wedding day never has anything to do with the man, who obsesses over having the perfect wedding but never really seems to care about who they want to marry, just that they need to marry to have the party. It seems so stressful and not that fun.

This movie was just way too boring to put to much effort into. I’m falling asleep justjjjjjjjjs jksd

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