Review: The Wedding Planner (2001)

The Wedding Planner (2001)

Directed by: Adam Shankman | 100 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson, Justin Chambers, Judy Greer, Alex Rocco, Joanna Gleason, Charles Kimbrough, Kevin Pollak, Fred Willard, Lou Myers, Frances Bay, Kathy Najimy, Cortney Shounia, Philip Pavel, Natalia Jaroszyk, F. William Parker, Caisha Williams, Dan Finnerty, Fabiana Udenio, Bree Turner, Don West, Susan Mosher, Peter Brown, Adam Loeffler, Chelsea Hollingsworth, Bianca Brockl, Karon Bihari, Nikki Arlyn, Seth Howard, Greg Lauren, Magali Amadei, Phil Chong, Lydell M. Cheshier, Dee Dee Weathers, Harry Danner, Anthony Catala, Betsy Brockhurst, Huntley Ritter, Joan Del Mar, Raphaela Kleiman, Rocco Vienhage, Marc Shaiman, Hollie Beach, Christopher D.Childers, Chris Daher, Carina Dawn Micki Duran, Jake Gentry, Samuel Givens, Gordon Hart, Jim Hechim, James Howell, Erik Hyler, Whayne Jerome-Clayton, Mario Lara, Julio Macat, Bobby Pappas, Maurice Schwartzman, Adele Uddo

‘The Wedding Planner’ from 2001 is a film that may not be one of the most brilliant in history, but it has remained visible in the romkom genre ever since. Probably not least because of greats Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. For many enthusiasts, they are the perfect couple to swoon over, with others rushing straight to the dentist for an enamel treatment. You love it or you hate it.

Big, immersive, over-the-top American weddings, that’s what this film is all about. In itself an eye opener for the sober Dutch viewer who knows no better than a reception and a buffet. The tight direction is in the hands of wedding expert Maria Fiore (Lopez). Armed with a belt of handy jars, bottles, sewing kits and other tools, she leaves nothing to chance when it comes to someone else’s marriage. When it comes to reassuring a hysterical bride, Mary always has her standard healing words ready.

One thing is certain, Maria is the best wedding planner in the country. And when it is shown how Maria comes home alone in the evening after a long and busy day, we already know where the filmmaker wants to go. In fact, it’s just a matter of waiting for Steve (McConaughey) to appear on the scene. There it is! Like a true hero, Steve saves Maria from a rolling dumpster that threatens to crush her. You don’t expect such a scene… But does it immediately make you laugh? No, there’s not much to laugh about in ‘The Wedding Planner’. We do it with a smile every now and then. The marking, almost cartoonish music does not make up for this either.

Director Adam Shankman has actually only started focusing on film directing since ‘The Wedding Planner’. In the preceding years, Shankman worked as a choreographer on a series of films. He also choreographed for the Spice Girls and Shankman appeared as a jury member in ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. But whether the sore point of ‘The Wedding Planner’ lies with the lack of direction remains to be seen. The big problem really seems to lie with the unsurprising story. The predictability of this film threatens to lean towards the boring. Even though predictability is more common in this genre. ‘The Wedding Planner’ has virtually no compensation for this shortcoming. Not in humor, not in romance.

Anyway, the two handsome and world famous faces don’t know how to let this film disappear completely down the drain. But appearance does a lot in that.

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