Starring: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz
Director: P.J. Hogan
Running Time: 105 mins
My Best Friend’s Wedding is an American film about a woman whose long-time friend reveals he’s getting married, leading her to realise that she’s loved him all along, meaning she’s left with only a few days to win him back before his wedding.
This was such an irritating film. Despite having all the makings of a bog-standard, underwhelming romantic comedy, My Best Friend’s Wedding represents something even worse. Lacking any real joy in its performances, writing or comedy, it’s a hugely annoying watch with unlikable characters across the board, all of which leads it to feel like 105 minutes of wasted time.
If there’s one reason that this film really fails, it’s the main character. Now, I’m all for changing up the now battered-to-death romantic comedy formula, but this really isn’t it. Our main character, played by Julia Roberts, plays a woman who once had a fling with a man, and then became just best friends with him for years, and then suddenly decides that she loved him after all only when he’s getting married to another woman.
Now, you’ll see that sort of plot around and about in numerous rom-coms, where the main character will eventually rush to the wedding of their love interest and proclaim that they are the ones they should choose. The problem is that, in those generic situations, it’s normally a nice person taking someone away from a horrible person, the opposite of what happens in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
So, not only does the main character seem fickle and selfish right from the start, deciding that only she can have her friend and not the other, but she’s also an actively irritating and mean presence as she goes all the way to the location of the wedding, befriends her ‘love rival’, and then sets about destroying the marriage by any means.
And then you’ve got the complete inconsistency of her own personality. The film tries to portray her as someone who’s not driven by generic fairytale love stories by giving her a very strong and commanding personality, something that Julia Roberts pulls off quite well, but then it completely goes back on itself with a story that follows her being completely driven by her desire to get the guy of her dreams, when it seemed that that wasn’t at all important right at the beginning.
So, as you can see, I didn’t really take to the main character here, instead feeling constantly infuriated by her presence and actions, making for a really frustrating watch throughout.
As for the rest of the film, it’s not as atrocious, but it’s by no means any good. The performances are generally okay, with the exception of Dermot Mulroney, who plays Julia Roberts’ love interest, as he gives a performance that’s completely lacking in any charisma or charm, making it even more impossible to support our main character as she seems desperate to get to this man who seems like a pretty rubbish option.
The writing doesn’t make for many laughs either, and although it follows a simple rom-com formula, its attempts to change it up with role reversal are more frustrating than anything, making for a generally irritating watch, and that’s why I’m giving My Best Friend’s Wedding a 5.5.