See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, July 16, 1997

My Best Friend's Wedding

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Instead of updating the screwball comedy genre for the anything-goes 1990s, screenwriter Ronald Bass and director P.J. Hogan have merely added a few contemporary flourishes to a story that would not be out of place in the 1950s. Here women have two options: they are either tragically lonely, die-hard careerists or altar-bound support mechanisms whose lives revolve around the needs of their men.

Julianne (Julia Roberts) is the former, Kimmy (Cameron Diaz) the latter. The man they have in common is the bland but demanding Michael (Dermot Mulroney), who's blissfully unaware of the hornet's net he stirs up by inviting his long-standing best friend Julianne to his lavish, traditional wedding to the perky, perfect and very wealthy Kimmy. But even though he's there physically, Michael seems less corporeal than something created in the minds and hearts of the two women who love him, not unlike the absent, godlike "him" of the title song, "Wishin' and Hopin'."

So Julianne and Kimmy, who don't seem to have any female friends, are thrown together as competitors from the get-go. Not surprisingly, the increasingly shrill Julianne tries to derail the wedding using manipulation and subterfuge, mostly ignoring the advice of her gay confidante, George (Rupert Everett), whom at one point she even enlists as a faux fiancé.

Director Hogan -- who scored big with Muriel's Wedding (1994), a nasty bit of misogyny masked as candy-colored fluff -- has a keen ability to pour the old wine of rigid female stereotypes into appealing new bottles.

While Roberts displays the same charm that made the claptrap of Pretty Woman (1990) go down easier, Diaz once again manages to enliven and give some dignity to a cardboard cut-out, male-fantasy role.

But the film really belongs to the sly, charismatic Rupert Everett, who adds both spark and good sense whenever he appears onscreen.

His performance and the musical set pieces which wonderfully incorporate several Burt Bacharach-Hal David songs into the action (Hogan's real forte) make My Best Friend's Wedding appear to be more distinctive than it really is.

Serena Donadoni writes about film for the Metro Times. E-mail her at letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation