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Blu-Ray Review

DVD cover

My Best Friend's Wedding


Starring: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz and Rupert Everett
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 12
Available 29 September 2008

Julianne Potter has had a best friend, who is also her ex-lover, for longer than she can remember. That neither of them have found anyone else has suited her, that is until he rings her one day to announce than he is going to get married. In that one instance she realises that she has loved him all this time and flies to the wedding with the avowed intent to break it up and win him for herself...

My Best Friends Wedding (1997) is a romantic comedy which unites two men who know how to produce a film for women. The movie is written by Ronald Bass (The Joy Luck Club, What Dreams may Come, Waiting to Exhale) and directed by P. J. Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding), On release the film garnered some good critical success, won eleven awards and was nominated for a further fourteen.

Bass provides a script which is both witty and intelligent and avoids the use of stereotypes and simplistic character motivations so often seen in romantic comedies. The writing also allows Hogan to get the best out of his cast.

Julia Roberts plays Julianne Potter with the sort of easy charm we have come to expect from her as an actress. One of the nice things about the film is that we are able to follow, not only the appallingly inept attempts to break up the prospective couple, but also the effects on her character and the cost of her actions. Like most of the principle characters in the film she ends up being neither wholly bad nor wholly good.

The prospective happy couple Michael and Kimberly are played by Dermot Mulroney (Zodiac) and Cameron Diaz (The Mask, There’s Something About Mary, Shrek). Diaz is well placed as the woman fighting for her man against the woman who her fiancé holds up as the perfect woman. The script allows Diaz to overcome every dirty trick which Julianne throws at her, which allows her to portray a central strong core on what initially looks like a fluffy personality.

Although Dermot Mulroney does well in his role, which is to say that he has been miscast, he cannot compete with Rupert Everett (The Madness of King George, Shrek 2) who steals every scene he’s in as Julianne’s urbane, wise gay editor, who comes to her rescue.

There are a number of other members of the cast well worth looking out for. M. Emmet Walsh (Bladerunner, The Iron Giant) plays Joe O’Neal and even sings at one point when the cast break into an impromptu song. Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding) is very funny as Samantha, and hiding under an extraordinary mop of hair is Christopher Masterson (Francis from Malcolm in the Middle - took me ages to work out who he was) who plays Scotty, Michael's brother.

At first the script has you rooting for Julia Roberts's character, after all we are introduced to her first and she is Julia Roberts, so were expecting a warm and sensitive person,. However our expectations are slowly subverted.

Julianne’s initial attempts to humiliate Kimberly, by forcing her to sing in a karaoke bar knowing full well that she cannot sing, goes wrong when she does her turn with such gusto that she win over the whole bar. The shenanigans continue until the film turns the expect roles on their heads when Julianne writes an email which loses Michael his job, as a sportswriter, and makes him call off his wedding.

There is a great little cameo by Paul Giamatti (Planet of the Apes) as a Bellboy who finds Julianne crying in the hotel hallway. The Email is a turning point as we can see Julianne as a selfish and manipulative person, whereas it is Kimberly who is the warm and sensitive individual that we were all expecting Julianne to be.  

The film has a good transfer and you are unlikely to have any cause for complaint, though it is not going to be one to play as a reference disc. The colours are bright and vibrant which works best during the party and wedding scenes.

The disc contains a reasonable amount of extras, though they are not in high definition, given the films age. First up is On the Set: My Best Friends Wedding (19 min, 23 sec) which is a light fluffy piece which combines some behind the scenes footage with pieces from the cast. Next up is My Best Friends Wedding Album (7 min, 16 sec) which is a look at the film's locations; Wedding Dos and Don’ts (4 min, 38 sec) a witty set of advice on how to have a good wedding; Unveiled: My Best Friends Wedding (12 min, 15 sec) is a look at the film from script to screen; Say a Little Prayer Sing-Along (2 min, 32 sec) which repeats the bar scene with the whole family singing, only this time with the words at the bottom of the screen; and lastly you get a couple of trailers and the inevitable BD-Live, which fails to work even though my machine is capable of this.

I watched the film with my better half and we both enjoyed the film. It’s not a film which will change your life but it is an above average chick-flick, which can be enjoyed by both sexes.


Charles Packer

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