The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner starts off nice. It is reminiscent of a romance from an earlier time in movies, with impossibly beautiful weddings and people dancing in Golden Gate park. However, about halfway through the movie, things take a turn for the worse, making it similar to too many movies out today. Mary (Jennifer Lopez, The Cell, Antz) is a ruthlessly efficient wedding planner. She has a solution for every potential problem and can plan up a storm, but she has no personal life. She has not dated in two years. One day, out of the blue, Steve (Matthew McConaughey, U-571, EdTV) saves her one day, and she falls for him hard. He is a doctor, he is cute, and he has a sexy Southern accent.

Unfortunately, he turns out to be the groom of a wedding she is planning. The bride, Fran (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Love Stinks, Beautiful) does not know that the two met. Steve is just as enamored of Mary as she is of him, which has the potential to wreak havoc with the wedding plans. This along could make an interesting movie, but screenwriters Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis add too much to the mix. Mary must deal with her overbearing father who set her up with an Italian man who always pops up at inconvenient moments. And, most of the characters are densely obtuse. It is a series of coincidences that allow Mary and Steve to meet, and even more that prevent Fran from knowing. Even for a movie, this is a bit much of a stretch. There are some nice moments, but none are especially memorable or moving.

McConaughey also has a tough time with his character. True love aside, it is hard to feel any sort of sympathy for Steve. How dare he act with such little respect for Fran? Lopez's character is better, since once she discovers he is the groom, she makes every effort to ignore the chemistry between them. But this would not be a movie if this was all that happened. Together, McConaughey and Lopez have decent chemistry, but not anything enough to make the couple anything special. The more the film progresses, the less interesting these people become. Director Adam Shankman does do a nice job with the look of The Wedding Planner. His vision of San Francisco is a near utopia. There is never a cloud in the sky, and all Mary seems to do is visit beautiful churches, receptions, gardens and fountains. The only drawback is that the settings have more personality than the characters.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 44 minutes, Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual humor.

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