Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Wedding Planner: Something Hollywood This Way Comes . . .

The Good: Background scenery
The Bad: Utterly predictable, Lack of character and development, Pretty much all of the acting
The Basics: A disgustingly homogenized film in which everything we expect to happen does and everyone looks like they stepped out of a magazine. Bland.

My title ought to have the subtitle "As Bad As I Suspected It Could Be." Have you ever seen a film that didn't disappoint your lowest possible expectations for it? A film that was so predictable you could call the lines two scenes in advance and you sat through watching the clock begging for it to be over? Well, The Wedding Planner was exactly like that for me. I was expecting it to be bland, utterly Hollywood fare. Well, it was. In fact, it was the epitome of everything that is Hollywood.

Mary Fiore is, surprise, a woman who plans and directs weddings. She's landed the ultimate wedding to direct which has put her in a position to advance in the wedding planning business. In the process, she meets a guy and falls in love at first sight. As it turns out, again predictably, the man she's fallen for is the groom in this important wedding. You ought to be able to see where this is going; Mary tries to do her job, arranging the wedding for Steve and Fran while Steve and Mary fend off their feelings for each other.

The sole strength I could come up with for this film was the scenery. They picked a beautiful place (San Francisco) to shoot The Wedding Planner. The gardens are nothing short of amazing. And there are enough background shots that make the film easy enough to watch.

There is no character development. There are no plot surprises. There is not acting talent at work here. Matthew McConaughey plays Steve and he's not acting; he appears as the charming enough man who does the talk show circuit whenever he has a new film coming out. Jennifer Lopez was herself as well, meaning that her instant assumption was that the man she was with was gay (I almost wrote this as a "Is Jennifer Lopez a closeted lesbian?" piece because having watched Angel Eyes (reviewed here!) and The Wedding Planner today I'm somewhat surprised that the only thing the characters Lopez plays seem to have in common is a line where they both accuse their male costar of being gay. It's not subtle and it's bordering on homophobic accusation.). Anyway, Lopez isn't playing a character any different from herself when she does the talk show circuit. I mean, she's playing herself here as a business woman, kind of like how she acts when she talks about her music career; she's trying to sell herself as something and in this case, it seems like no leap of the imagination.

This film is not funny. This film is not charming. The two high points for me were when Charles Kimbrough (he plays Fran's father in the film; he played Jim on Murphy Brown) and Kevin Pollack showed up. Sigh even they couldn't save this film from being impossible to recommend.

You've seen this film, a hundred times before. All of the men are chiseled, all of the women skinny, bleached hair, over make-uped. In a word, Hollywood. None of these characters are real and none of them feel that way. This film is not worth your time. Well, unless you love Hollywood . . .

For other works with Judy Greer, be sure to visit my reviews of:
Love And Other Drugs
The Big Bang Theory - Season 3
Love Happens
Arrested Development
What Women Want
Three Kings


For other film reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2002 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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