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Wedding Planner movie review

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Wedding Planner

Feeling in the mood for something light and fluffy? Not too demanding or original? "The Wedding Planner" could be just the ticket.

A polished but vacuous romantic comedy, "The Wedding Planner" is the predictable story of Mary (Jennifer Lopez), the highly organised and efficient career girl with no time for a love life of her own.

In between her busy life of arranging the perfect nuptials for her appreciative clients and fending off the unwanted suitors lined up her doting Italian father, Mary finds herself one day walking down the middle of the road daydreaming when her expensive and immaculate shoe becomes stuck in a manhole. Cue an out of control dumpster, full and heavy, rushing towards her down the hill. Does Mary flee the scene, or does she attempt to recover her shoe before the inevitable collision?

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Naturally there is a handsome man ready to fling himself onto her and save the shoe (and her life). The two lie in perfect colour co-ordination in the middle of the road in an imitation of the missionary position, each grinning as enthusiastically as the other. "Oh, you're cute!" You can almost hear them say.

The next scene sees Mary waking up in a children's hospital. Her confusion is allayed when in walks her rescuer, Doctor Steve Eddision (Matthew McConaughey) utilising his opportunity to show off his caring sharing side amongst several charming child patients. Oh, boy, this guy is too perfect! Is he for real?

Before you know it, the film has swung into major romance mode…but wait, it can't be this easy, can it? That's right, the story goes boy meets girl, boy loses girl, doesn't it? There must be a fly in this ointment, ah yes, here it is. The twist.

Steve's forgotten to tell Mary he's engaged, which is a pity as she finds out the hard way: his fiance hires Mary to organise the wedding. This is not good news, and she gets to play indignant in one of the film's better scenes, a tango (witty repartee, a flaming red dress and much flinging about the dance floor. Did someone mention the director's a choreographer?)

"The Wedding Planner" is a formulaic, hoary old chestnut done much better elsewhere. The leads are pretty and well dressed, but the characters are none too interesting and demand little from the actors in the way of talent. McConaughey looks like he's doing it with his eyes closed, and Lopez proves that control freak is well within the scope of her abilities - although a scene where she gets drunk and messy is far from convincing. Perhaps she hasn't had her heart broken enough?

I was baffled as to why people in their twenties would choose dusty old John Denver and Olivia Newton-John tracks as their special romantic song? These people were barely out of nappies when this stuff was recorded….is classic easy listening radio more popular in the U.S. than we are aware of? Ah, a minor quibble, but a nagging one, as so much is made in the film of the choice of song, and how it indicates the strength of the marriage.

This film didn't do much for me, but it does showcase the charms of it's leads and doesn't ask for much in return.

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Due for Australian release 29 March 2001
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Wedding Planner (2001)
Written by: Pamela Falk & Michael Ellis
Directed by: Adam Shankmann
Produced by: Moritz Borman, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair
Edited by: LisaZeno Churgin
Director of Photography: Julio Macat
running time: 100 mins

The Players: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Charles Kimbrough, Joanna Gleason, Bridgett Wilson-Sampras
Official website:
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: 16-Apr-2001 : Last updated: : Last tested: 8-Mar-2009
Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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