A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real positive messages.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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."
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"F--k." "Bitch," "s--t," "ass," "a--hole." Reference made to "doing the nasty" and of "vengeful sluts."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.