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My Best Friend’s Wedding is a romantic comedy with a guide to sabotaging your old beau’s nuptials.
When she broke up with Michael (Dermot Mulroney), her boyfriend in college, Julianne made him her new best friend and security blanket. They made a pact—if they were still single at 28, they’d marry each other. Now they’re almost 28. And Michael, a sports writer, is in Chicago and wants Julianne to call him. She is touched and nervous. She has always really loved the guy but he’s not calling to propose. He’s calling to explain he’s engaged to be married in three days to a junior at the University of Chicago who is willing to drop out of college and sacrifice her own aspirations as an architect to support his career because she is devotedly in love with him.
Julia Roberts makes you feel so guilty for rooting for her character, as she is a confident restaurant critic who panics after hearing friend and ex-flame Michael is getting hitched. Julianne’s—or how Michael considers her, Jules—strategy is simple: put on a happy face, pretend to go along and destroy from within. Kimmy (Cameron Diaz) knows she’s got a remarkable opponent, and her strategy is to befriend Jules. “You win. “He’s got you on a pedestal and me in his arms.” She asks Jules to be her maid of honor since all her female relatives are supposed sluts and mostly because she wants to keep her eye on Jules so she doesn’t get her grips on her man.
Jules stoops to evil means worthy of a minor Batman villain: She fakes an engagement to George (her guy friend played by Rupert Everett), forges a brutal, sneaky, and really mean email from the bride’s rich daddy (who owns the White Sox and a cable television empire) to the editor of Michael’s sports magazine that could ruin Michael career, and forces her trusting and tuneless rival princess to perform in a karaoke bar—ouch!
You never thought that innocent and loving Julia Robert would not be the heroine of this movie or any movie. She is willing to fight dirty to steal another woman’s man.
My Best Friend’s Wedding may be a flick for chicks, but it foils some of the common expectations of romantic comedies. It manages to keep alive the mystery of who will end up with whom. Things aren’t as clear-cut as they initially seem to be.
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It’s witty and fun, especially with the scene in a seafood restaurant where a spur-of-the-moment sing-along rendition of Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s “Wishin’ and Hopin” with the women swaying in perfect harmony.
Directed by P.J. Hogan from an original screenplay by Ronald Bass, My Best Friend’s Wedding conveys the shared delight of filmmaking and the matching up of the right people with the right material. It’s a great marriage and everyone gets a chance to shine. The Australian must have something with weddings. His previous smash 1994 debut, Muriel’s Wedding, was a black comedy about a young woman who loves ABBA songs and dreams about getting married.
It’s an original twist, but one that makes it much harder to like Julia Roberts. But we all know that, at some time or another, we have all thought about stealing our man away from the little miss perfect princess who gets everything she wants. In the end Jules just has the nerve to confess her psychological instability and blow the flame out.
My Best Friends Wedding intends to be a light romantic comedy but it turns into life lessons on the true natures of friendship, jealousy, and real and inventive love.