Tuesday 15 June 2021

Movie Review: The Wedding Planner (2001)

A banal romantic comedy, The Wedding Planner is devoid of wit, humour and crisp ideas.

In San Francisco, Mary (Jennifer Lopez) is a hyper-competent wedding planner but has no love life of her own. When her heel is caught in a utility hole, she is rescued from disaster by pediatrician Steve (Matthew McConaughey). Mary's assistant Penny (Judy Greer) sets them up on a date, hoping to help Mary snap out of the emotional doldrums.

Although Mary and Steve have a good time, she is then shocked to learn he is the fiancé of her latest client, wealthy businesswoman Fran (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras). Mary feels deceived by Steve but continues organizing his wedding. Meanwhile, her widowed father (Alex Rocco) pushes her to consider marrying Massimo (Justin Chambers), a passionate young man recently arrived from Italy.

Directed by Adam Shankman, The Wedding Planner is an easy to forget, by-the-numbers rom-com. In the central roles Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey hardly seem to be trying and spend most of the movie bickering, while the supporting characters consist of mechanically recycled assorted friends, family members and business colleagues.

The romance is devoid of both laughs and any moments of poignancy, but stuffed full of the typical plastic devices lovers have to navigate before the pre-ordained ending. And so Steve is marrying Fran despite their obvious incompatibility, Mary is being pushed by her father to wed Massimo and learn to love him later, and the script by Michael Ellis and Pamela Falk chokes on superficial references to what love is or is not. The insipid soundtrack featuring interchangeable self-empowerment musical fluff does not help.

To obscure the lack of content Shankman takes a tour of wedding preparation scenery, from selecting the venue to finding the flowers, including a desperate detour to a statue park that degenerates into an adventure with crazy glue and detached private parts. Steve gets one scene at his workplace hospital, but otherwise must be the most under-employed doctor in San Francisco. 

And somehow it's not sufficient for Steve to save Mary's life once from her heel-stuck-in-the-utility-hole predicament, so the old standby of a damsel in distress on a runaway horse being rescued by her white knight is wedged into the proceedings. The Wedding Planner is regretfully cancelled due to an utter lack of creativity.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.


  1. another rom-bomb as I'd call it. saw this last year for the first time, wasn't expecting much and as i'm not much of a fan of rom-coms. but worse it is flaccid and dull

    1. Flaccid and dull is right. It's a pity because Lopez and McConaughey can be much better than this - they both pretty much sleepwalk through this one.


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