Wedding Planner

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Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey are Delightful in The Wedding Planner

Jul 29, 2001 (Updated Jun 28, 2006)
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Pros:Some very funny scenes. Lopez and McConaughey have great chemistry.

Cons:Predictable in places.

The Bottom Line: If you like romantic comedies, The Wedding Planner is worth seeing. It was a wonderful movie.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

The Wedding Planner was a delightful, lighthearted romantic comedy. Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey had great chemistry together. This movie reminded me of the romantic comedies that used to be made years ago, when the characters didn't start jumping into bed with each other before the opening credits were done.

The movie began with a young girl playing with her Barbie dolls. She was staging a wedding for them. The scene changed - from a close up of Barbie's face to a close up of a woman who looked like the living version of Barbie - to a woman talking to a nervous bride on her wedding day. The woman was the little girl, Mary Fiore, all grown up. Mary was a very successful wedding planner. She was prepared for everything that could go wrong at a wedding. She wore a special belt thing with all kinds of stuff in it. She tracked down a missing father of the bride - FOB in the code she and her assistant Penny used - and got him all ready to go. That night Mary went home to an empty apartment and ate a takeout dinner in front of her tv while watching The Antique Roadshow.

Mary and her father, Salvatore, were very close. Her mother passed away several years before. Her father wanted to see her happily married like he was. Since Mary wasn't doing anything about that - she hadn't been on a date in two years - he found a man, Massimo, for her to marry. It turned out that Mary knew Massimo. She and her parents spent the summer in Italy when she was little and she played with Massimo. Mary was upset with her father for playing matchmaker.

Mary found out that Fran Donolly, the daughter of a rich prominent family, was getting married. Mary wanted the account. She had plans to use that account to be made a partner in the firm. She met Fran and her parents at a beautiful wedding that she orchestrated. She got the account. Mary called Penny to tell her the good news, and while she was walking across a street the heel of her new Gucci shoe got stuck in a manhole cover. She struggled to get free and rescue her shoe - it was Gucci after all. Due to a freak accident involving a cab driver dropping his ice cream while driving, a dumpster was barreling down a hill right at Mary. A man happened to be there. He saved Mary and her shoe just in the nick of time.

The man was Steve Edison, a pediatrician. He took Mary to the hospital where he worked to make sure she was ok. Mary was attracted to him and subtly tried to find out if he was married. Penny showed up, freaking out because she only knew that Mary was in an accident and she didn't know if she was hurt. Once Penny calmed down, she invited Steve to go to Golden Gate Park with them that night to watch an old movie. Steve agreed to go. At the park, Penny invented the most unbelievable excuse to leave - she promised to help her best friend's brother's god mother change the cartridge in her fax machine because she (the god mother) was leaving for Africa the next day. Steve and Mary were left alone to watch the movie. They talked, the attraction built, they danced, and were about to kiss when it started to rain, breaking the moment.

A few days later Mary was meeting Fran and the man she was marrying, Eddie, at a dance class. Mary would be meeting Eddie for the first time. Fran thought that they needed practice for the first dance at the reception. Fran and Mary bonded a bit and were friends. Mary told Fran about the man she met and the evening she spent with him at the park. When Fran introduced Mary to Eddie, Mary was shocked. Eddie was Steve. Eddie was a nickname that Fran used for him. Neither of them let onto Fran that they had met before. Fran got an important business call, and Mary and Steve were forced to dance together. They danced the tango - I think that is what it was, I'm not good with dances - and had an argument over Steve not telling her he was engaged. Even though they were having the discussion, they danced beautifully together.

Mary and Fran and were busy planning the wedding. They were checking out locations for the wedding and reception. Steve did go along on those trips. Massimo showed up during one of the trips, announcing that he and Mary were engaged. Then he and Steve went off to do the manly bonding while the women checked out the gardens and things. Fran had to go out of town on business, so Mary and Steve had to work together on some of the details of the wedding. They got along better, and Mary even confided in him about something that happened to her several years ago - and this explained why she hadn't been on a date in so long. Massimo kept popping up at different times, determined to convince Mary that they should get married. Mary had to work though a lot of conflicting feelings. Would Steve and Fran go through with the wedding? Would Mary grow to like Massimo? Would anyone get married?

Jennifer Lopez - Mary Fiore
Matthew McConaughey - Dr. Steve Edison
Bridgette Wilson-Sampres - Fran Donolly
Joanna Gleason - Mrs. Donolly
Charles Kimbough - Mr. Donolly
Justin Chambers - Massimo
Judy Greer - Penny
Alex Rocco - Salivatore Fiore
Kathy Najimy - Jeri

Adam Shankman - Director

The Wedding Planner was released in the spring of 2001. I saw it in the theater when was first released. The movie is now available on DVD and VHS. I own the DVD. The movie is in the widescreen version on my copy. I’m not sure if there is a full screen version as well. The movie was 103 minutes long and rated PG-13. There were some discussions and situations in the movie that shouldn’t be seen by children.

The Wedding Planer was a great movie. I loved it. It was very entertaining and kept my attention until the end. I was never board by the movie. I do know that things like this don't happen in real life - a Prince Charming showing up just in time to save you - but it was a movie. It's just entertainment. The characters didn't swear that much. There was a word or two here and there, but nothing like some movies where it seems every other word is a certain obscenity - that rhymes with luck. That word was never used in this movie.

The Wedding Planner was romantic comedy. It was like the older romantic comedy movies that use to be made. I say that because there was no sex in the movie. There wasn't even a kiss until the end. There weren't a lot of sexual references, but there were a few. There was no nudity. There was a very funny scene involving Mary, Steve, and a nude statue. The statue was knocked over accidentally, and a certain body part broke off. They tried to fix it with super glue. That scene was hilarious. The developing relationship between Mary and Steve provided the romance for the movie. Massimo’s pursuit of Mary added some more romance to the movie.

There were several funny scenes in The Wedding Planner. Like I mentioned before, the scene with the statue was hilarious. There were other things that happened throughout the movie that I thought were funny. Mary had this thing to perfectly fold her clothes, like employees in stores use. I just thought it was funny that someone had one of those things in their home. Since I first time I saw this movie, I have now seen commercials for those things, so it doesn’t seem as strange or funny for people to have them at home. Mary and Steve both said and did different things that I thought were funny. Steve had a habit of talking about himself in the third person, so he said some very funny things a few times. Near the end of the movie, there was a funny trip across town. I don’t want to say anything more specific because that would spoil things.

I thought that the acting in The Wedding Planner was good. This was the first romantic comedy that Jennifer Lopez made, so it was a different sort of movie for her. I thought she was funny and believable as Mary. She has played a wide range of characters. I do know that there are a lot of people who don’t like Lopez, or who can’t stand her, but I like her. I have seen several of her movies, and have liked her in all of them. She had supporting roles in The Money Train and Jack. She had her first lead role in the movie Selena. I did not see Anaconda because there is no way I could handle watching a movie about a giant snake with my severe snake phobia. Yes I know it is a fake snake, but that doesn’t matter. I have also seen and enjoyed Maid in Manhattan, Angel Eyes, The Cell and Enough.

The Wedding Planner was also the first romantic comedy for Matthew McConaughey. At least I think it was. I know he was in Ed Tv, and there was a bit of romance in that, but I don’t really think of that movie as a romantic comedy. I think he did well with his role. He was sweet, tender, sincere, funny, or a bit of a jerk when called for. Before seeing this movie, I had only seen him in a few other movies, like A Time to Kill and Ed Tv. I do like him. Since seeing this movie, I have also seen him in Frailty and How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days. He was really good in those movies as well.

The other actors were very good as well. I have seen Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in a few different movies. She wasn’t in as much of this movie, but she did well with her scenes. The other actors in the movie also did a good job.


Mary Fiore - She was a very successful wedding planner. Her career was right on track. Her love life was a whole different story. She hadn't had a date in two years. She was a neat freak. Everything had to be in its place. She vacuumed her curtains. Her credit cards were in alphabetical order. Mary was a funny, likable character. She was hurt badly in the past and that was why she had cold feet when it came to dating. She was a kind woman. She loved her father, but she was very annoyed with him for trying to set her up.

Steve Edison - He saved Mary and her new Gucci shoe from a runaway dumpster. He was actually engaged when this happened, but didn't mention it to Mary. He was having some doubts about getting married. He was wondering if Fran was the one for him. Steve had some strange little quirks. Like he only ate the brown M&Ms - at least I think they were M&Ms. His reasoning on that was that they have less artificial coloring because chocolate is already brown. He also had a tendency to refer to himself in the third person when he was upset. He was a pediatrician who seemed to really enjoy his work.

Fran Donolly - The bride to be. She was a nice likable person. She and Mary became friends. Fran came from a rich family, but she didn't act like a spoiled brat or a nasty witch. She was really nice. She wasn't the typical blonde airhead bimbo either. She was a smart successful business woman. She seemed to have some doubts about the wedding as well.

Mr. and Mrs. Donolly - Fran's parents. They were only in a few scenes, but they were very funny. Mr. Donolly never called Mary by her name. He always called her wedding woman. Mrs. Donolly thought that she was going to sing at the reception despite the fact that Fran told her no over and over. Mrs. Donolly sang a bit during one scene and it was apparent that Fran made a good decision about the singing. Both Mr. and Mrs. Donolly enjoy wine. A lot.

Penny - Mary's assistant. She wasn't in many of the scenes, but she had some very funny ones.

Jeri - Mary's boss. She was the woman that owned the wedding planning firm. She was only in two scenes.

Salvatore - Mary's father. He loved his daughter very much and wanted her to get married and be happy like he was with her mother. Since Mary wasn't dating anyone, Salvatore took matters into his own hands and found a man, Massimo, to marry his daughter. He meddled a lot, but he only wanted his daughter to be happy.

Massimo - The man Salvatore wanted to marry his daughter. He had only been in the country for a few weeks when he first showed up. He wouldn't accept that Mary didn't want to marry him. He kept popping at different times, announcing that he and Mary were engaged. He seemed to manage to say the wrong thing every time. He was a very sweet likable character. He truly did care for Mary.

The DVD of The Wedding Planner had several extras. The movie was in the widescreen format. There was a commentary by the director and one by the writers. I haven’'t listened to those yet. There were seven deleted scenes. The first one showed Mary as a little girl and her mother was in it. It was a very sweet scene between Mary and her mother. It did explain a bit about how Mary thought and acted at times. The rest of these scenes showed a few other things - like Mary ironing the pillowcases at a hotel she was staying at. Two of the scenes were just alternate versions of scenes that were in the movie.

There were two featurettes. One was a making of and the other was called The Dancer and the Cowboy. The first had a few interviews with Jennifer, Matthew and the director. The second showed how the scene in the dance class was done and how a scene involving a runaway horse was done. There were filmographies of some of the characters. There are also trailers for The Wedding Planner, My Best Friend's Wedding, U-Turn and Anaconda.

The Wedding Planner was a great romantic comedy. Yes things happen in it that don't happen in real life, but it was make believe, a movie. It was just meant to be entertaining. It wasn't trying to be serious. This is a movie for romantics. Fans of Jennifer and Matthew should give the movie a chance.

Related Reviews
Enough ~ Frailty ~ Contact ~

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good Date Movie
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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