The Wedding Planner

A bridal train wreck. This would-be romantic comedy is that rare, unfortunate thing, a total misfire of a movie; it's also the first feature directed by the choreographer of MISSION TO MARS — what else needs to be said? Headset-sporting Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) is San Francisco's star wedding planner. She soothes nervous brides...read more

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Reviewed by Frank Lovece
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A bridal train wreck. This would-be romantic comedy is that rare, unfortunate

thing, a total misfire of a movie; it's also the first feature directed by the

choreographer of MISSION TO MARS — what else needs to be said?

Headset-sporting Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) is San Francisco's star wedding

planner. She soothes nervous brides with her well-oiled spiel, and plucks

hairspray, antacid and whatever other emergency amenities her wealthy clients

need from a well-stocked utility belt. One day a dashing doctor, Steve Edison

(Matthew McConaughey), saves her from a runaway dumpster; they have a sort-of

date and almost kiss. Imagine Mary's surprise when she learns her biggest

client, yuppie businesswoman Fran Donolly (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), is

engaged to none other than Dr. Steve! Meanwhile, Mary's Sicilian dad (Alex

Rocco) is trying to fix her up with young Massimo (Justin Chambers) from the

old country. Leaden where it should be light, this excruciating clot of

clichés is as frothy as flat beer. McConaughey (cast only after Brendan

Fraser decamped for BEDAZZLED) colors almost every line with a smug, "Aw, gosh, ain't I cute" vocal smirk. Lopez mugs like a clown in scenes that

require expressions of surprise or anxiety, and her Mary is a startlingly

unsympathetic romantic lead — the very first scene she's refusing to let

a squirming priest use the restroom. Mary and Steve's "meet-cute" moment is

more like "meet-creepy": He lands atop her prone body and won't get

off, even when she complains she can't breathe. The less said about

Rocco's and Chambers's putative Italian accents the better, and as Mary's

bug-eyed best friend Penny, Judy Greer seems to have wandered in from some

broad farce. Of all the actors, Wilson-Sampras comes off best and has one

great moment: When Fran learns she and Steve aren't getting married (please

— it's a foregone conclusion), her look of nausea and disbelief seems

distressingly real. The audience will, by this time, thoroughly relate.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A bridal train wreck. This would-be romantic comedy is that rare, unfortunate thing, a total misfire of a movie; it's also the first feature directed by the choreographer of MISSION TO MARS — what else needs to be said? Headset-sporting… (more)

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