ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  adam shankman

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  romantic comedy

LENGTH  -  103 minutes

RELEASED  -  26 january 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  columbia pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  wedding planner

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $35,000,000
the wedding planner - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from the wedding planner at

buy the dvd from the wedding planner at

a wedding planner falls for the groom she's planning a wedding for.

this film has fourteen producers.


picture from the wedding planner

picture from the wedding planner

picture from the wedding planner


zero out of four possible stars

It is certain that the filmmakers of The Wedding Planner bypassed the standard screen test phase of casting the film, because Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey have about as much chemistry together as piece of asparagus and a block of cement. And the situations their characters find themselves in are nothing less than unrealistic, contrived, and obvious. The film progresses at a fine rate, yet never does it become believable. The dialogue is stilted and poorly delivered, and the comedy isn't funny. And finally, the romance isn't romantic.

And for a film that supposedly resides firmly in the romantic comedy genre, one can only wonder why they didn't market this film differently. It has about as much in common with romance and comedy as it does with horror. As a much in demand wedding planner, Jennifer Lopez's character of "Mary Fiore" doesn't have a lot of time to think about getting a man into her life, given her exalted opinions about what a boyfriend should look and act like. But when Matthew McConaughey's "Dr. Steve Edison" character saves her from being made into a pancake by a large garbage dumpster, Mary seems to think Steve is right up her alley.

Until she learns that the next wedding she's been hired to plan is that of Fran Donolly, who just happens to be engaged to Mary's perfect man: Steve Edison. It is obvious how the film proceeds after this first meeting between Mary and Steve, as they struggle to continue on with their lives without falling in love with one another. And though this set-up might make for an entertaining romantic comedy, Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey don't inspire a lot of empathy from the audience. It is hard to really care whether they will "end up together."

While each of these actors has had success on screen in past films, this coupling of hot Hollywood actors just fizzles in front of the camera in The Wedding Planner. Jennifer's hair might look perfect, and Matthew's white doctor coat might fit him as though it were tailor-made, but these two actors just don't belong in the same movie together. And if the must share the same space on the screen, they shouldn't be playing romantically involved people. And this off bit of casting extends to the entire cast. Justin Chambers, who plays "Massimo Lenzetti," the man Mary's father wants her to marry, does a bang-up job of imitating an Italian accent.

If one squints hard enough, one could be fooled into believing he looks the part, but he certainly doesn't sound it. And adding to these mistakes in casting is a screenplay that seemed created only moments before shooting commenced, and this film takes on the look of a complete feature film mistake. One of the scenes involves a country club, horses, and some treadmills and seems to take up a good twenty minutes of the film. This scene is supposed to be filled with humorous and romantic gestures on the parts of the characters, but it definitely won't make an audience crack a smile.

Possibly the only mistake the filmmakers didn't make, was in the cinematography of the film. It's not on the par of an epic feature, but it is beautifully shot in areas. The director of photography was successful in allowing Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey to look like the beautiful people they must be, on screen. But more time seems to have been spent on the looks of these suave actors than in their suitability together on screen or on the dialogue that is laughably bad. Overall, the film seems to be a substandard effort at filmmaking, with more emphasis placed on speed during production than in making a unique or creative film.

The basic idea of The Wedding Planner makes for a good base to build a movie on, but there is a lack of real emotion displayed by the characters and this stems from two fatal problems: the script and the actors. In some cases, a good film happens because the right people came together at the right time to make a movie. This film illustrates that the exact opposite can happen just as easily. While no one in particular should be blamed (i.e., the director, actors, or screenwriter), it's just a matter of the wrong people being placed on screen together, and being told to say some very uninteresting things.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs columbia pictures 2001
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