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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

My Best Friend’s Wedding (review)

Regrets Only

It is no secret that I, your Flick Filosopher, am a heartless bitch. Not in a bad way — I don’t stomp on kittens or anything like that. But I don’t suffer fools gladly and I prefer not to take crap from anyone — unfortunately, in the eyes of many, that constitutes the description of either a psychologically healthy man or an emasculating bitch of a woman. So be it.

Heartlessly, I am not a fan of froofy, fairy-tale weddings — the whole princess-for-a-day thing makes me gag. I also am not a fan of Julia Roberts — she can never be forgiven for her happy hooker of Pretty Woman. Hence, I approached My Best Friend’s Wedding (starring Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett) spoiling for a fight. And I was not disappointed.
For starters, Roberts plays a restaurant critic. She spends the movie running her skinny body around in midriff-baring little tops, and we’re meant to believe she eats. For a living.

But Julianne’s career is tossed aside five minutes into the movie when she learns that her best friend Michael is getting married. Her best friend with whom she has a secret pact to marry if they both reach the spinsterish age of 28 and remain single. Bing! She just now realizes that she loves Michael, she must have Michael, must stop the wedding at all costs!

And then we meet Michael (Mulroney), and here’s the real kicker: He’s a dud. Is there a more charisma-bereft actor in Hollywood than Dermot Mulroney? Julianne and Michael blab and blab about their great friendship, but it’s all hearsay — no evidence of anything other than jealousy and manipulation is offered.

Kimmy (Diaz), Michael’s fiancée, is likewise devoted to him for no obvious reason. Kimmy is leaving college so she can be with Michael — that’s the most important thing, she says. She is flighty, precious, little girly, adorable, and vulnerable — she screams with utter delight at everything, and her big eyes well up with tears if Michael looks crossways at her.

She’s perfect, Julianne tells Michael.

And therein lies the moral of this story: No matter how independent we career girls pretend to be, we’re all really just looking for Prince Charming to take us away from the big bad world.

Kimmy may be perfect, but not for Julianne’s Michael. Julianne proceeds to sabotage the wedding in some truly despicable ways, reluctantly assisted by her friend and editor, George (Everett) — her gay friend, as it is pointed out repeatedly. George is perhaps the only likable character in the movie, perhaps to reinforce the moral: All the good ones really are gay, so you’d better grab the first straight one that comes along, even if he is Dermot Mulroney.

My Best Friend’s Wedding is supposed to be a romantic, sweet, wonderful movie, but it’s a story about people at their worst: scheming, manipulative, petty, mean. And this was a big hit last year. What does that say about the world?

viewed at home on a small screen

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