My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) — Romantic Regret: The Movie

“I’m pond scum. Well, lower actually. I’m like the fungus that feeds on pond scum.”

Justin’s rating: I do? Well, I don’t!

Justin’s review: Horror movies are widely touted (“Have You Touted Lately?” is my slogan) as the consistently worst film genre, in terms of good films to bad films ratio. I disagree; the romance flick genre is way worse, with something like a 1:145 ratio to its discredit. They’re cheesy, emotionally pandering, horribly anti-guy in almost every way, anti-intellectual, predictable, and make a majority of their audiences feel worse about themselves for not having such perfect and well-choreographed moments in their lives. This is why I’ve been operating a self-imposed embargo of romantic movies, because they were destroying my soul. Happily, my soul regenerates, and I recently felt up to absorbing a few more carcinogen-laced kiss flicks before shutting the ports to Justanica once more.

The story why I saw My Best Friend’s Wedding is no less boring than the above paragraph. I somehow downloaded the crowd-sung version of “I Say A Little Prayer” from this film, and my “friend” told me that it involved people dancing around with little lobster mittens or something in this movie, which sealed the deal. If lobster fashion accessories are involved, I have to see the movie.

Oh, and the lobster-singing scene? Wickedly joyful and full of snark. Why don’t people start spontaneously in groups wherever I am? Believe me, PoolMan and I tried to get a few rounds of “Ice Ice Baby” going wherever we traveled, but mostly people threw us out and refused to twirl around and yodel for us.

The rest of the movie, however, is a mixed bag of snakes. Sure, you get the cute and cuddly de-fanged ones, but there’s also those suckers that like to spit neurotoxins right into your eyes and make off with your daughters. The biggest snake of all, I think, is Julia Roberts.

Now, I’ve warned the world community for years that Julia Roberts is nothing more than an obnoxious bass carp cross-bred with a PR marketing machine. You haven’t gotten that Public Service Announcement? Hm. Probably too late to save you, in that case. Roberts does not charm me. Her smile does not melt my soul into gooey marshmallow-ness. She does not strike me as anything other than a coiled predator that could easily swallow my right leg in one mean bite.

Roberts has been playing the same character — tough, but lovable — in about every flick since Pretty Woman, and here she’s not much different. As Jules, a 28-year old (ha! yeah, you can pull off 28, just keep on believing that) food critic, she gets all in a dither because a guy that she passed on years ago is getting married soon. Now, the movie attempts to put us in her court for the first half of the film; we’re supposed to want her to break up the wedding and “win” the no-goodnik back. Then we are supposed to come to a spleen-shattering revelation that she’s not actually quite a good character after all, and maybe we don’t want her to win.

Problem is, I disliked her from the opening scene on. I never wanted her to get the guy back. I couldn’t understand her sweaty desperation over wanting this guy who she had rejected previously. In my experience, if you say “no” to someone, that ship has sailed, ladies and gents. So instead of realizing that she could get just about any other single guy by threatening to unhinge her jaw and swallow their pet dog whole, Jules does some unspeakably nasty things to the couple in order to get her way.

Cameron Diaz is Kimmy, the girl-bride, and here’s my sweetheart. Never say I’m completely objective, cause I would wedgie my own grandmother if Diaz merely lifted a finger to command. Kimmy’s a natural cutie-pie, and her innocent love-swooning throws her in sharp contrast to Jules, Mother of Satan. They’re both in love with some guy or other, but since this is a female-centered romantic comedy, the guy is about as bland and memorable as the plastic wrapping on processed cheese slices.

Ultimately, My Best Friend’s Wedding sputters, crashes, and burns in a fiery heap despite a number of rather ingenious and entertaining scenes. I give them credit for not taking the easy and typical path for a comedy, but no credit can ever cover the horrid sin of making Julia Robert’s face about five times bigger than everyone else’s on the video box.

Didja notice?

  • Yes, the opening song is supposed to frighten the living jeebers out of you, making them dead jeebers
  • Roberts’ cell phone is large enough to contain its own nuclear power source!
  • Always so cool to be driving and have a plane sail by on the overpass ahead
  • Women can make really disgusting noises too
  • Francis from Malcolm in the Middle is SO YOUNG
  • Bubbly girls and crazy gay guys should not be introduced
  • Lobster claw oven mitts!
  • Pigvomit is the bellboy!
  • Helium singing

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