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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
PJ Hogan
Cast:
Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Dermot Mulroney, Rupert Everett
Writing Credits:
Ronald Bass

Synopsis:
When a woman's long-time friend says he's engaged, she realizes she loves him herself... and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.

Box Office:
Budget
$46 million.
Opening Weekend
$21,678,377 on 2,134 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$126,805,112.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 2/3/2015

Bonus:
• “On the Set” Featurette
• “My Best Friend’s Wedding Album” br>• “Wedding Dos and Don’ts”
• “Unveiled” Featurette
• Sing-Along


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


My Best Friend's Wedding [Blu-Ray] (1997)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 21, 2016)

After a hot start in the early Nineties with Pretty Woman and a few other moderate successes, Julia Roberts quickly sank into a roster of lackluster flicks that failed to prosper. She bounced back toward the end of the decade, though, and that renewed status went into motion back in 1997 when Roberts starred in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Essentially her comeback vehicle, It wasn’t the biggest hit of her career, but it set the stage for bigger successes to come.

Wedding brought Roberts back to her bread and butter genre: romantic comedy. Via flicks like Mary Reilly, she tried to branch out a bit, but when those failed to reach an audience, she apparently remembered what brought her to fame in the beginning.

Despite success in other genres since 1997, films like Wedding remain her core, for better or for worse. Personally, I think “for worse” mainly applies to Wedding, a fairly flat comedy that has a few good moments but generally fails to provide an engaging and witty experience.

In Wedding, Roberts plays Julianne “Jules” Potter, a nearly-28-year-old New York restaurant critic. Her career has prospered, but she lacks much of a romantic life, and her primary relationship is with her homosexual editor George (Rupert Everett). In her past, she’d briefly been hot and heavy with college friend Mike (Dermot Mulroney); though they broke up as a couple, they remained intimate friends over the years.

When Jules gets an urgent message from Mike, she recalls a pact they’d made: if neither got married by 28, they’d join together. As she discovers when they chat, Mike has marriage on the mind, but not to her. Instead, he tells Jules of Kimmy (Cameron Diaz), the college student with whom he’s fallen in love and plans to wed in a few days.

Not surprisingly, this sends Jules into a tizzy as she finally admits to herself that she loves Mike and wants him for herself. As such, she speeds to Chicago to break up the impending nuptials and claim the groom for herself.

Also not surprisingly, wackiness ensues when she arrives. In I Love Lucy fashion, all of Jules’ plans backfire on her; no matter how hard she tries to find Kimmy’s dark side, it just won’t emerge. Eventually George arrives to offer some moral support, and Jules quickly enlists him in her cause; he briefly poses as her fiancée, a stint that offers some of the movie’s best moments.

Too soon, unfortunately, George heads back to the Big Apple, so we’re left with Jules, Mike and Kimmy alone. From there the movie follows the thickening triangle until someone eventually gets married. I won’t reveal the ending, but it essentially tries to have its cake and eat it, too.

I don’t fault the conclusion, for it seems to be about as satisfying as one could hope for this kind of film. As with something such as Forces of Nature, this sort of flick can’t have a perfect resolution; when there’s a love triangle, somehow has to be the odd man - or woman - out in the end. Still, Wedding pulls off the conclusion in a reasonably suitable manner.

The rest of the movie seems much more erratic, though. Part of the problem stems from the insufferably cutesy tone set by director PJ Hogan. The film begins with a purposefully-retro musical performance that seems to mock the concept of women who slavishly do whatever they must to keep their men.

However, the flick itself doesn’t really deviate from that path. The opening seems to make fun of this apparently-archaic notion, but the actions of Kimmy and Jules fully embrace the concept. They both are more than willing to cede their personalities to wed Mike. I’m not sure what message Hogan wants to send, but this attitude feels odd.

Hogan also has no sense of subtlety. Throughout the movie, we find a number of small gags that should remain in the background. Instead, Hogan can’t leave well enough alone, and he pushes these bits to the front.

For example, one of a pair of slutty sisters gets her mouth stuck to an ice sculpture at the wedding. It’s enough for us to be told that the piece replicated Michelangelo’s David; if audience members can’t put two and two together and figure out the risqué aspects of this action, that’s their problem.

However, Hogan clearly wants to make sure everyone gets the joke, for we quickly move to a close-up of the sister’s mouth around David’s frozen phallus. Maybe this makes the bit funnier to some, but for me, it totally ruins any potential comedy.

Despite the ham-fisted and campy direction, Wedding could have succeeded solely due to the qualities of its cast. The film features a pretty solid roster, and most of them offer good work. Roberts does her usual performance, which is fine with me; I’m not a big fan, but I think she gives some nice and satisfying performances in this kind of part. She doesn’t approach the charm seen in Pretty Woman, but she comes across well nonetheless.

Diaz long ago proved herself to be a solid comic actress, and she does fine as Kimmy. It’s a fairly thankless role, since most of the audience probably roots against her, but her inherent charm and likeability help make the part more winning and endearing than it could have been.

While the actresses both provide good work, Everett’s turn as George steals the show. Wedding single-handedly established Everett with US audiences, and this occurred for good reason. He offers a funny and loose performance that more than makes the most of his limited screen time.

Indeed, George proved so popular with test audiences that the filmmakers felt compelled to pad Everett’s screen time. Everett does a wonderful job here; he makes me wish the movie was about him.

That seemed especially true due to the performance of the putative male lead, Mulroney. While the other three main actors seem quite good, Mulroney provides a sucking hole at the heart of the movie. He makes Mike into a totally drab and flat personality; never once do I have the slightest clue why these women fight over him.

Sure, Mike’s reasonably attractive, but he’s not that good-looking, and Mulroney comes across as such a jerk that any physical charms should become negated. Mulroney looks vaguely constipated throughout the flick, and the character always feels totally unworthy of women such as Roberts and Diaz.

Ultimately, My Best Friend’s Wedding offers a sporadically entertaining experience, but its flaws outweigh its positives. Some good performances can’t overrule one very weak lead actor and poor direction. Roberts fans will probably still like it, as it provides her usual form of romantic comedy, but it remains a fairly weak effort.

Future star alert: look for Paul Giamatti in a small role as a kindly hotel clerk.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

My Best Friend’s Wedding appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a solid transfer.

Actually, the opening credits seemed oddly soft, but after that, definition quickly rebounded. A smidgen of softness hit some wide shots, but the majority of the film appeared accurate and well-defined. No shimmering or jaggies appeared, and I saw no edge haloes or noise reduction. Print flaws seemed absent.

Despite a little heaviness not unusual for late 1990s movies, colors seemed positive. The film opted for a fairly peppy palette that seemed rich and full. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows showed nice clarity and delineation. This one barely missed “A”-level consideration, as it provided a fine image.

Though not as good, I felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of My Best Friend’s Wedding. As with most comedies, the soundfield largely remained anchored to the forward channels, but the mix spread out the audio to a satisfying degree.

The front speakers showed fine stereo separation for the music, and they also offered a clean and accurate sense of spatiality and ambience. Sounds blended together well, and they moved neatly between channels.

The surrounds usually presented general atmosphere, but they came to life nicely at times. For example, Kimmy’s wild auto driving flew clearly across the channels, and scenes at bars and ballparks also opened up the soundfield to a good degree.

Audio quality seemed to be fairly positive. Dialogue occasionally sounded somewhat thick, and a number of lines displayed poor looping; these elements didn’t integrate well with the action. Nonetheless, most of the speech appeared to be fairly warm and natural, and I heard no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility.

Effects didn’t seem outstanding, but they replicated the material with acceptable accuracy and depth; bass response could be quite good at times. Music showed nice dynamic range as well, as highs seemed to be clean and bright, while low-end was clean and fairly deep. In the end, My Best Friend’s Wedding provided a good but unexceptional soundtrack.

How does the Blu-ray compare to the 2001 Special Edition DVD? Audio was richer and more dynamic, while visuals seemed tighter, cleaner and more vivid. The Blu-ray became an obvious step up in quality.

Unveiled: My Best Friend’s Wedding offers a 15-minute, 14-second look at the film. We hear from director P.J. Hogan, producer Jerry Zucker, screenwriter/producer Ron Bass, and actors Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, and Susan Sullivan.

Although the program takes a firmly promotional tone, the material from the set seems surprisingly interesting; I like these looks behind the scenes. I also feel pleased to note how few gratuitous film clips appear. Whenever we see a snippet of the movie, it always appears for a specific reason, not just to fill space and make the flick appeal to us.

Unfortunately, the interviews seem less compelling. Shot in 1997, these almost entirely stay with the usual form of happy talk that plagues DVD/Blu-ray supplements. We hear little other than how great everyone and everything is, and little useful information appears throughout the documentary. Still, the shots from the set become interesting enough to make “Unveiled” worthwhile for fans of the flick.

Although the 19-minute, 33-second On the Set doesn’t offer any greater substance from its interviews - all of which come from the same sessions seen during “Unveiled” - it adds good behind the scenes footage. Actually, it seems to be even more promotional than “Unveiled”, as the first half of the program comes across as little more than a glorified trailer.

The participants - all the same folks seen in “Unveiled” except we lose Sullivan and gain Dermot Mulroney - spew pleasantries and tell us the basics of their characters and the plot. Nonetheless, some good shots from the set make this show fairly watchable at times.

Much less entertaining is Wedding Do’s and Don’ts, a four-minute, 38-second look at marriage pitfalls. We got some glib narration accompanied by clips from silent films that purported to demonstrate the topics. It seems obnoxiously cutesy and pointless; I really disliked this little feature.

The disc rebounds with My Best Friend’s Wedding Album. Although this sounds like it’ll offer a still gallery, instead it functions as a third featurette. The seven-minute, 16-second program consists totally of behind the scenes material from the set with no narration, though we do find text at the bottom of the screen.

The latter relates little factoids about the production and connected topics such as Marshall Fields department store and diamond rings. Some of the clips become redundant by this point - a few appear in all three video programs - but this is still a pretty decent piece.

The Say A Little Prayer Sing-Along gives us a two-minute, 32-second piece that does exactly what it says: you can watch the scene from the movie and croon along with it via the on-screen text. Of course, since the movie itself offers subtitles, this becomes somewhat useless, but it doesn’t hurt anybody nonetheless.

Contrived and lackluster, My Best Friend’s Wedding can’t approach any level of charm. Though some actors enliven it, one poor example of casting combined with overbearing direction undercuts any potential strengths. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and sound but lacks notable supplements. The movie leaves me cold, but the Blu-ray replicates it well.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main