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My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

Directed by P.J. Hogan

My Best Friend's Wedding

At the core of every cynic is a namby-pamby sentimentalist. I only say this as a way of reckoning how I could possibly like this dippy piece of horse shit. Julia Roberts might not be the most beautiful woman in Hollywood or even its best actress but she does have that indefinable "star" quality that makes her always interesting to watch.

"My Best Friend's Wedding" is the type of movie that Hollywood used to put out all the time but it seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs. There's nothing new here just adept storytelling. Roberts plays an unattached and apparently unattachable food critic whose former lover, Dermot Mulroney, springs the news of his impending wedding to a sunny Cameron Diaz. Roberts immediately tailspins as she realizes that she is in love with her old flame. Roberts confides in another friend, Rupert Everett, of her intention to sabotage the wedding and steal her old beau back. Everett is great as her confidant and conscience. He points out to Roberts that she may not really be in love with Mulroney just ultra-competitive. Roberts forces Everett, who's gay, into the uncomfortable position of posing as her fiance to try to make Mulroney jealous. Everett pokes fun while at the same time prevailing in the ruse but then opts out, telling Roberts to come clean and let the chips fall where they may.

Diaz is great as the unsuspecting bride-to-be. She sidesteps every land mine Roberts puts in her way, armed only with her honesty and guts. This flick could have gone in the wrong direction by making Diaz the heavy in order to make Roberts' character look better but avoids the pitfall. Even Roberts has to grant Diaz grudging respect when a put-on-the-spot, tone-deaf Diaz battles through a painful karaoke number. The movie doesn't chicken-out at the end and follows through to a logical conclusion... -- Rating: $7.00

Tom Graney -- Copyright 1997 Hollywood Outsider

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