The good news is, yes, Jennifer Lopez can do comedy. In The Wedding Planner Lopez is Mary, a lovable woman who believes “those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t wed, plan!” Her slapstick moments are lighthearted and she is spot-on as the controlling, compulsive-yet-sweet planner. The bad news is Lopez didn’t get much of a vehicle in which to test drive her newfound comedic skills.
Mary’s life is her career. Planning other people’s weddings takes all of her time, leaving no room for a love life of her own. Her only personal life is a Scrabble club, to which she and her father (Alex Rocco, whose wandering Italian accent is painful to listen to) belong. When a handsome young doctor (Matthew McConaughey) saves her from a collision with a runaway dumpster (really, it works), she is instantly wooed by his quiet charm. Too bad he’s the fiance’ of Mary’s biggest client, Fran (played winningly by Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), the job that will launch Mary as a partner in her firm.
The main problem with this film is that no one wants to hurt anyone else’s feelings. Everyone is just so gosh-darn nice. In a subplot, Mary’s father is trying to arrange her marriage to just the nicest Italian boy. Gee, he’s sweet. Golly, Fran is nice. Is there ever a way out of this mess and to leave everyone smiling? Yet, there is a touch of old-fashioned romance to this wholesome film, which can only be described as “cute.” And while things may unfold in a predictable manner, The Wedding Planner is still lighthearted fun of the sort that inspires dreamy romantic thoughts. –Jenny Brown