My Best Friend's Wedding

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
My Best Friend's Wedding Movie Poster Image
Sexist '90s screwball comedy has cursing, smoking, drinking.
  • PG-13
  • 1997
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The lead female protagonist is willing to go to great lengths to break up the impending marriage between her best friend and a younger woman whom she believes isn't right for him. No one emerges as positive role models. 

Violence

Chase scene in which the female protagonist chases her rival by stealing a bread truck from a wedding reception and following her car down busy city streets. The fiancé of the male protagonist drives recklessly throughout the movie. 

Sex

Michael kisses Kimmie passionately once and more chastely several times. Julianne and Michael kiss once, even though Michael is engaged. A bridesmaid gets her tongue stuck on the penis of an ice sculpture of David. Reference to "doing the nasty." 

Language

"F--k." "Bitch," "s--t," "ass," "a--hole." Reference made to "doing the nasty" and of "vengeful sluts." 

Consumerism

One mention of the Embassy Suites. Character orders Amstel Light beer. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Julianne smokes regularly. Many characters drink beer. Wine, beer, and alcohol drinking in bars, restaurants, and wedding-related events. At the wedding, a drunk woman gets her mouth stuck on the penis of an ice sculpture of David. Lead character is shown the morning after a long night of drinking -- she's hungover, and large bottles and small bottles from the hotel minibar are empty and scattered. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Best Friend's Wedding is a 1997 romantic comedy in which Julia Roberts plays a woman determined to prevent her best friend from getting married to someone that isn't her. There's some profanity, including "f--k." Characters drink in bars, at dinner, and at receptions, and are shown drunk, hungover, and making questionable decisions, including one character who gets her tongue stuck on the penis of an ice sculpture of David. The main character is a heavy smoker. The film also revives the antiquated notion that women must tear each other down to win the love of a man. It also proffers a version of love that's unrequited, dishonest, and manipulative.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAmelia R. September 12, 2017
Kid, 12 years old March 3, 2013

Great Movie

My Best Friends Wedding is a good movie. it does have some violence in it and consumerism, but other than that its a good movie. I think its appropriate for kid... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 April 3, 2010

Please note this movie is only rated PG-13 on appeal. Iffy for ages 14-16.

This movie was entertaining, but it wasn't very great. Please note the fact that the movie is only rated PG-13 on appeal - it used to be rated R. Therefore... Continue reading

What's the story?

In MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) is a successful but lovelorn food critic who's about to turn 28. Secretly, she's holding on to the dream that she and former flame and best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) will follow through on their grade-school promise to marry each other if they're both still single at 28. But Julianne's dream is dashed when, just weeks from her 28th birthday, Michael calls her to announce his engagement to Kimmie (Cameron Diaz), a 20-year-old socialite who's willing to drop out of school and put her life on hold for the love of a good man. So of course, Julianne, suddenly desperate, sets out to stop it. But can she profess her love in time to stop the wedding? And is it too late for a romantic relationship between the two?

Is it any good?

This fine cast deserves a plot that's less distasteful. Anyone who watches reality dating game shows like The Bachelor, Flavor of Love, or Rock of Love -- or bizarre shows like Scott Baio Is 45… and Single -- knows that in a world where the goal is to "win" instead of to connect as equals, people race to the lowest common denominator: Men become more superficial and controlling, and women become more desperate and insane. In other words, it's not an example of the way real people fall in love. Unfortunately, My Best Friend's Wedding takes the same premise to the big screen (or to your DVD player) and creates characters who are just as immature. Julianne's line, "I've got exactly four days to break up a wedding and steal the bride's fella, and I haven't a clue of how to do it" is hilarious, especially the way Roberts delivers it, sucking manically on a cigarette. But the reality of watching Oscar winner Roberts debase herself is painful. And for what? The affections of a dolt who equates subservience with love? One hopes there's more to Julianne's adoration of Michael than his caveman ideas of love and his chiseled features. Unfortunately, the viewer never sees it.

The movie, with its retro-ironic Burt Bacharach remakes and zany score, is meant to be a spoof of the screwball comedies of the 1950s. "We are some glittering Doris Day-Rock Hudson extravaganza," effuses the clearly gay George (the divine Rupert Everett) of his sham engagement to Julianne -- and he's right. The film has all the same, sexist plot points as a 1950s film that's based on the idea that a woman can either have a career or be a devoted wife. And it has the same manic energy of a bad I Love Lucy episode. Men and women deserve depictions of their relationships that are less insulting to everyone involved, Burt Bacharach deserves a better vehicle for his campy and great music, and viewers -- especially young, romantically naïve viewers -- deserve a film that gives a better idea of what love is today.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the definition of love that this movie exerts. What's the difference between a crush and love? Do you think it's real love if it's unrequited? Is the pain of love a good reason to lie and manipulate? What qualities should love bring out in people? It's also a good opportunity for families to talk about how teens can handle romantic feelings about a platonic friend.

  • How does My Best Friend's Wedding both use and play with the conventions of romantic comedies? 

  • Why do you think romantic comedies have such a timeless appeal? What are some other examples of romcoms throughout the decades, and who are some well-known actors who performed in them? 

Movie details

For kids who love romcoms

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