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Film: My Best Friend's Wedding

A 1997 Romantic Comedy starring Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz. Julia Roberts plays Julianne Potter, a restaurant critic from New York who, turning 28, realizes she's getting dangerously close to being stale Christmas Cake. In college, her best friend, Michael O' Neal, and she made a pact that the two of them would marry if neither of them were married by the time they reached 28. He calls close to her birthday... only to tell her that he's found a pretty, wealthy, cheerful young bride in the person of Kimberly Wallace (Cameron Diaz), who wants her to be her maid of honor. She heads to Chicago, to not only become said maid, but also sabotage the wedding and get Michael for herself. Hilarity Ensues.

The film opened, embarrassingly, behind Batman & Robin in theaters. It did receive mostly positive reviews, though.


This film provides examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Lampshaded; "sometimes the moment just... passes you by."
  • The Beard: Julianne asks George, her Gay Best Friend, to pretend to be her boyfriend to make Michael jealous.
  • Best Woman: According to Michael's father, Julianne was close to becoming one.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Julianne gives up on Michael and he goes on to marry Kimberly. Their last scenes are very happy. Julianne's last scene is dancing with her Gay Best Friend.
  • Chick Flick: Romance, weddings, karaoke, etc.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: College, but still all the trope entails.
  • Christmas Cake: Julianne didn't care about it.. until Michael told her "I'm getting married to Kim, whooo!"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Julianne can't stand the thought of any girl with Michael that is not herself.
  • Cool Big Sis: Kim really wants Julianne to become this to her. Little did she know Jullianne was explointed the position to give her bad advice.
  • Crowd Song: "I Say A Little Prayer". It's the gay guy that starts it off to try to make the ruse of being Julianne's boyfriend convincing. The rest just join in and even the restaurant staff help out by providing the music.
  • The Danza: Julia playing Julianne
  • Derailing Love Interests:
    • Invoked, as Julianne plots Relationship Sabotage.
    • Averted regarding Julianne, who shows clear signs of being a psycho bitch through the film (which are at first concealed by our expectations of the genre), and the script is not shy about how bitchy she is... But that is the point. Deconstructed too, because Julianne gets chewed out for her actions. The Gay Best Friend constantly tells her her idea is stupid, the Nice Guy is upset when Hell breaks loose, and when the Villain Protagonist has to confront The Ojou on the shit she did to her, all the women in the scene side with said Ojou and call the other girl "bitch", "slut" and "couple breaker" in the most hilariously awesome way ever possible.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Julianne, our Villain Protagonist, does not marry her best friend.
  • Fag Hag: Julianne best friend (apparently her only friend aside from Michael) is the homosexual George.
  • Fallback Marriage Pact: The setup for the whole plot; Julianne is still single when the pact expires but Michael is not.
  • Fiery Redhead: Julianne's temper is shorter than Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold Kimberly and she is more prone to shouting.
  • Focus Group Ending: Executive Meddling wanted Julianne to get together with a random guy at the wedding reception, but audiences didn't like it, so the originally-written ending where her gay friend George comforts her was made instead.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Part of the reason Julianne is so mad that he'd marry Kimberly, since he barely knew her at all while she and Michael have been friends for years already.
  • Genre Deconstruction: A romantic comedy where the protagonist comes to realise that she is the Romantic False Lead. Several Zany Schemes are scuppered when Reality Ensues and/or the couple make up because they're genuinely in love.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Julianne thought of Michael as her "best friend" until she heard he was getting married.
  • Heel Realization: At one point, Julianne even says "I'm the bad guy."
  • Helium Speech: The boys sing a ballad with helium sucked from the wedding's balloons.
  • Heroic BSOD: Happens to Kim, when Julianne kisses Michael. The poor girl runs away in tears and disappears.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Kimberly is an aversion. Cameron Diaz's karaoke sounds realistically off.
  • Irrevocable Message: Julianne sends an e-mail from Michael's account in an attempt to cause trouble between him and Kim. She realizes how wrong it was once it's too late.
  • Must Make Amends: Julianne forcibly kisses Michael. Kimberly catches them, believes he's cheating on her, and runs away in the middle of an Heroic BSOD. Julianne realizes that Michael really cares for Kim, so she's the one who has to convince Kim to come back for Michael's sake. By the time the two met again, Kim had decided to fight back for Michael. Most of what Julianne did at that point was to assure her that she just kissed Michael suddenly when he wasn't expecting it and that Michael never kissed her back, and to let Kim know that she was giving up.
  • No Sympathy: Subverted in the karaoke scene. The crowd's initial response to Kimberly's Hollywood Tone-Deaf singing is a humiliating stunned silence, but then they start to cheer and clap and she starts to laugh along with them.
  • Playing Against Type: The movie starts out passing off Julia Roberts in her usual rom-com role...until it becomes clear later in the film she's actually the Villain Protagonist. This sleight-of-hand is basically why the film works.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Subverted. Julianne engineers a huge row between the fiancÚs, but just as Michael is about to storm off, Kimberly bursts into tears and apologises.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Jules is trying to convince Michael and Kimberly that her gay male friend is really her boyfriend. "He's coming over to ... um ... fuck me."
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Jules's schemes get more diabolical and mean-spirited as the film goes on to the point where she is basically a Villain Protagonist. She gets better by the end.
  • Relationship Sabotage: The whole plot is about Julianne's attempt at breaking up the engaged couple.
  • Romantic False Lead: One expects the two leads to hook up and the third to be a Disposable FiancÚ, but that is not the case here.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Kim is The Ojou and also a Nice Girl.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Julianne arranges for Kimberly to humiliate herself at a karaoke bar, but (what with it being a karaoke bar) everyone cheers and applauds her awful singing and Michael looks impressed that she has guts to go along with it.
  • Villain Protagonist: The major gimmick of the film is having the Romantic False Lead as the main character.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: As said before, the script does not try to pass Julianne's actions as acceptable, and that goes double for the characters after she kisses Michael. Which leads to a rather funny scene in a ladies bathroom:
    Kim: You kissed him [Michael]!
    Spectators: *gasp*
    Kim: In my parent's house!
    Spectators: *gasp*
    Kim: ON MY WEDDING DAY!
    Spectators: *GASP*

Ma Vie En RoseFilms of the 1990sThe Night Flier
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alternative title(s): My Best Friends Wedding
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