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MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING

SYNOPSIS:
Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts), a food critic, and Michael O'Neal (Dermot Mulroney), a sports writer are longtime friends who briefly had a romantic fling years ago. At that time they agreed that if they hadn't married someone else by the time they were 28, they'd marry each other. When Jules gets an urgent message from Michael, she thinks he's calling to propose. Instead he's calling to inform her that he's engaged to wealthy socialite Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz), and is getting married in four days. Jules can't believe it, nor the fact that Kimmy wants her to be the maid of honour. Asking for help from her gay editor, George Downes (Rupert Everett), Julianne decides she has to break up the marriage, no matter what the consequences. As she proceeds with her many plans, including one where she and George act like they're engaged, she begins to wonder if she's doing the right thing and whether she really loves Michael.

"This feel-good, off-beat romantic comedy oozes charm, allowing Julia Roberts to shine in the kind of role that she does best. P.J. Hoganís individual stamp delivers a real "something-to-smile-about" film, with ingredients that spell entertainment. The use of music by way of old hit songs (as in Murielís Wedding), is effective: the 70s Dusty Springfield number "Wishing and Hoping" in the opening credits, will have you humming long after the film is over. The lyrics aptly capture the notion of old-fashioned love, as opposed to love in a today relationship: this an underlying story-line issue. Itís a fun script with endearing characters placed in awkward situations: itís a joy to watch the craft and skill of the players. Looking a million dollars and delivering the kind of performance that won her so many fans in Pretty Woman, Roberts is captivating. Rupert Everett, superb as George, complements her magnificently: he being a far more appealing character than Dermot Mulroneyís leading man, who just doesnít have that Richard Gere kind of charm and charisma. Perhaps someone like sexy George Clooney would have brought greater appeal to the role, making it more believable that Roberts and the stunning Cameron Diaz (beautifully cast as the girl who has everything), are scratching each otherís eyes out over him. Itís the skill of the writing and direction that make us totally satisfied with the events that evolve; and inevitable as the ending may be, the hilarious if rocky journey we enjoy together is entertaining."
Louise Keller

"Well, I donít agree . . . that the ending is predictable. I think the ending is right, itís bitter sweet and itís interesting. But itís not predictable, not for a Hollywood studio financed film. But as we arenít about to tell you what it is, letís move on. Letís talk about Mulroney, who is regarded by both Louise (above) and Paul (below) as the weak point of the film, because heís a dazzle short of charisma. The dilemma here is that if indeed Louise had cast the film and got George Clooney into the role, the ending would be hard to swallowÖbut weíre back in plot revelation territory. The difficulty highlighted here (and this is not all of it) relates to screen fiction as made in Hollywood, versus real fiction as made by you and me in our daily lives. In reality, people are highly complex and contradictory: but Hollywood shies away from too much of that because it makes for angst in the audience. They want to turn out movies that leave us feeling great. Or we may never go back. So with that proviso as a given, we take our cinema seats with certain unstated rules of the game in place. On that basis, My Best Friendís Wedding is terrific entertainment - and I donít mean to undermine the praise. Hoganís direction is focused and deft, he draws out excellent performances and above all, he manages to inject subtlety into the entire proceedings which the film needs if it is to cling to our memories instead of cloy at our senses. This is a high calibre movie with a long life."
Andrew L. Urban

"What could easily have become another mainstream romantic comedy complete with abundant cliches has been turned upside down under the sardonic and perceptive guidance of Aussie P.J. Hogan. As with his hit Muriel's Wedding, Hogan tackles the idealism of romantic commitment in a wry, almost black fashion, giving the genre more depth and padding than one normally associates with it. And surprise, surprise, this is not a Julia Roberts film. Sure she's the star in Hollywood terms, and delivers her most confident and radiant performance to date, but Hogan also ensures that those around her give added weight to a comedy whose central character remains largely unsympathetic. Here we have Julia Roberts as the star, yet we don't end up rooting for her character. And Hogan and writer Ronald Bass get away with it. Roberts is fine, but the scene-stealers are less expected. Cameron Diaz, long dismissed (unfairly) as a bit of a lightweight, gives Kimmy intelligence, vibrancy and substance to a character longing for commitment. She's at times hilarious, irreverent, poignant and irresistible. Her karaoke sequence is a major high point. Then there's Rupert Everett. He's a natural scene stealer, satirising his own sexuality with, dare I say it, gay abandon, and dominating every scene in which he appears, with a word or a gesture. He's a comic marvel, and it's ironic that that there's far more chemistry between Everett and Roberts, than there is between Roberts and Mulroney. Indeed, if there's one weakness in the film, it's Mulroney. Somehow you have to wonder why on earth Roberts would be so desperately in love with such a wimp, and when those two are on screen alone, the film does tend to sag. But it's Hogan's unique slant on the world that gives My Best Friend's Wedding that extra bit of depth, from his wonderful credits sequence, to the musical interludes that often throw convention to the wind. Here is a romantic comedy with style, wit and depth, and a movie that leaves you with a smile on your face - a big smile."
Paul Fischer

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PJ HOGAN INTERVIEW

MY BEST FRIENDíS WEDDING (M)
(US)

CAST: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco, M. Emmet Walsh, Rachel Griffiths, Carrie Preston, Susan Sullivan, Chris Masaterson, Paul Giamatti

DIRECTOR: P.J. Hogan

PRODUCER: Jerry Zucker

SCRIPT: Ronald Bass

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Laszlo Kovacs

EDITOR: Garth Craven, Lisa Fruchtman

MUSIC: James Newton Howard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Sylbert

RUNNING TIME; 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 25, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: COL TRISTAR

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: NOV 4, 1998







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