The Wedding Planner (2001)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 26, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - Germany, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

If the road to worldwide diva-hood is paved with romantic comedy vanity projects, Jennifer Lopez tosses off her first with The Wedding Planner, a sloppy mix of exaggerated scenarios and eccentric supporting characters. Perfect coifing and glossy lips define Lopez' performance, which is capable enough at certain lower levels. Blame freshman director Adam Shankman, however, for making it difficult to see her as a businesswoman defined by her superior composure. Defaulting to broadness wherever possible, Shankman subjects Lopez to one frazzled episode after another. This sort of slapstick confusion informs the film throughout, with Judy Greer especially grating as Lopez' jangled assistant. Matthew McConaughey frustrates in a more sedative manner, dispensing the same brand of insultingly lazy charm that's characterized his career to date. The Wedding Planner occasionally touches on likeability after its trying first act, but it never rises above the level of tired retread. More regrettably, it can't capitalize on its one chance at an original perspective: providing insider stuff on orchestrating society's most lavish weddings. What we get instead is Lopez spritzing smelling salts on a besotted father of the bride -- FOB, per her headset acronym-speak -- from the stash stored in her jacket lining, which would make a street hustler envious. Then again, the whole film is built on such simple bits of screenwriting fluff, designed to catch daydreaming future brides in the audience at the height of their susceptibility.