A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Wedding Planner includes some strong and graphic language (one "f--k" and scattered lesser words). The movie includes comic drunkenness and a character's alcohol abuse is also played for laughs. The scene with the statue includes a fairly graphic depiction of male genitals, which at one point get superglued to a character's hand.
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What's the story?
Jennifer Lopez plays Mary, THE WEDDING PLANNER who is so organized that she has all the essentials strapped to her belt, including smelling salts and superglue. She is also so cynical that she can predict the length of the marriage based on the song selected by the couple. Mary is supremely competent and confident at work, negotiating for a partnership in the firm if she can land an assignment for a dot-com zillionaire bride Fran (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras). Matthew McConaughey plays Steve, a pediatrician who saves Mary from an onrushing dumpster. They go out with Mary's friend for a movie and a dance under the stars, and Mary is smitten. Then she discovers that Steve is Fran's groom-to-be. Meanwhile, Mary's father (Alex Rocco) is trying to fix her up with a horrendous loser from the homeland.
Is it any good?
The Wedding Planner is a disappointing would-be romantic comedy -- neither comic nor particularly romantic. Its biggest problem is a sitcom-style script with too much emphasis on the situation and not enough on the comedy. It fails to create a single believable or sympathetic character. What it gives us instead is a string of barely related skits about people whose behavior ranges from inconsistent to random. The result ranges from dull to annoying, with the few comic bits already overly familiar to us from the commercials. Jennifer Lopez is a talented and attractive performer, but she does not have the acting or comedy skills to transcend the limits of the script. She looks beautiful, but a little remote and unsympathetic.
There is no real narrative, only different locations for the characters to get into faux-adorable fixes. Here's one example: Mary and Steve knock over a nude male statue and his genitals break off. Much hoped-for hilarity but no actual laughs ensue as they try to glue it back on. Here's another example: Mary and Steve run into Mary's former beau and Mary hides under a table to avoid him. But they run into him (with his pregnant wife) anyway, and Mary responds by getting drunk. Two weddings have to be disrupted before it can all get straightened out and even that never-fail standard of the romantic comedy drags on until we can go home to find something better to watch on UPN.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way films and TV portray weddings and marriage. Why is so much attention placed on weddings? Is it the romance behind it? The money spent on it? Why doesn't the media focus more on what happens after the wedding and honeymoon is over?
How do different cultures view weddings and marriage? If you looked up wedding ceremonies from different cultures, what kind of unique traditions would you find?
- In theaters: January 26, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: July 3, 2001
- Cast: Bridgette Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey
- Director: Adam Shankman
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Romance
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language and some sexual humor
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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