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Wedding Planner, The

When a successful, controlling wedding planner falls for the fiance of one of her clients, her life begins to fall apart. And so does the movie.


Meet Mary (Jennifer Lopez), the best wedding planner in San Francisco. She runs the show like a perfectly choreographed dance and can do just about anything, from fixing bridesmaids' dresses to giving inspirational pep talks. Mary handles her life pretty much the same way, without disturbances, which makes for a lack of men in her life. Her father (Alex Rocco) is desperate for her to get married, and even tries to set up an "arrangement" with a childhood friend, Massimo (Justin Chambers), who has always loved her. But she's happy with her life. That is until she accidentally meets Dr. Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey), who pushes her out of the way of a runaway garbage bin and later spends an innocently romantic evening with her. As she starts to feel something she hasn't felt in several years, she finds out that Dr. Steve is the fiance of one of her biggest clients (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras). Remaining a professional, she convinces herself that Steve is just another groom-to-be who is faithless and plans the wedding as scheduled. Of course, she's proven wrong by the chain of events that ensue.


One of the only saving graces for this movie is the undeniable chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. It may not be as powerful as Lopez's chemistry with George Clooney in Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight," but if there is supposed to be a romantic effect in "The Wedding Planner," it is certainly not forced by the leading actors. Lopez has surprisingly good comic timing and does an excellent job maintaining that cool, professional exterior as her character melts over the hunky McConaughey. And who wouldn't? McConaughey is back in rare form from playing scruffy ("EdTV") or boring ("Contact") and pulls out the charisma as he did in "A Time to Kill." For the supporting cast, there are a few cameos that stand out, particularly by the always funny Kathy Najimy, as the owner of the firm where Mary works, and by Kevin Pollak, as a friend of Steve's.


Unfortunately for the talented cast, they don't really have a good script to work with. First-time helmer Adam Shankman does a decent job with the direction, but the story simply doesn't have any mettle to it. And one can basically predict every step the characters make. The movie tries hard to capture the heartstrings, but basically fails at digging in to give the audience any substance behind the heartfelt emotions. Pretty people spouting romantic words won't necessarily inspire a caring response from the audience. However, through the sheer charisma of the two leading actors, the movie somehow manages to muddle through and leave you with a nice feeling in the end. Even if you knew it was coming all along.

Bottom Line

If it's a little mindless romance that you need, this movie is for you (and if you are planning a wedding, try and find Jennifer Lopez).