Mary Marry Me
The Wedding Planner
Review by Ross Anthony

Well, it's certainly an attractive money making idea. Put man-magnet, Jennifer Lopez (I don't know any guy who doesn't find this woman perfectly cute and sexy) in a chick flick and release it in January. Every 12 to 22 year old of either sex is going to see this movie. And they won't be disappointed. They might not be thrilled, but they won't be disappointed.

Jennifer Lopez plays Mary Fiore, the ultra-organized-organizing wedding planner who can produce the perfect social event for anyone, except herself. She's the bride's coach, counselor and spiritual advisor to boot. Having faith in the concept of arranged marriages, her Italian father tries to marry her off to the young pizano she grew up with back in the homeland (Italy ... surprise). Meanwhile, Jennifer gets her shoe stuck in the middle of the street and falls in love with a handsome passerby. It's actually a very sweet scene from slapstick action to charming dialogue. And the children (that follow) in the hospital back it up 100%; sorry to see them leave the film forever after just one scene.

Later, Jennifer and bo share two or three "old movie cliche" scenes that just stop the picture in its tracks. These sequences feel horribly "added later" as if the writers were trying to create a nostalgic homage sympathetic to the old black and white reel playing on their first date. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. "I don't even know your father's first name, but I know the curves on your face." Yikes ... that scene is as bad as a later bride/groom pre-wed chat scene is fresh.

Here's a mild spoiler ... err, ah, the guy she literally "falls for" is the fiance of the woman who's hired her to plan the wedding. This sticky news sets up the conflict for the rest of the film.

Popeye would have loved Penny, Jennifer's assistant in plandom. Judy Greer nails this bumbling Olive Oil sidekick role.

Basically, "The Wedding Planner" is a sweet love story hampered by contrived conflicts. Lopez and McConaughey act very well and create great chemistry. A good portion of the dialogue is superb, the direction and editing very skilled; however, less than interesting portions of script were unfortunately never omitted. Especially after a crisp appealing first third, expect some serious downtime between peaks. Overall, a light night out.

  • The Wedding Planner. Copyright © 2001.
  • Starring Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson, Justin Chambers, Judy Greer,Alex Rocco.
  • Directed by Adam Shankman.
  • Written by Pamela Falk, Michael Ellis.
  • Produced by Gigi Pritzker, Deborah Del Prete, Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Jennifer Gibgot at Columbia/Intermedia (C)2001. Rated PG-13.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:49:50 PDT