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The Wedding Planner is the new romantic comedy by director Adam Shankman that brings the partnership of Jennifer Lopez (Out of Sight) and Matthew McConaughey (U571) to the big screen.

The recent lack of decent romantic comedies meant that this film stood a good chance of being a worldwide hit. In fact The Wedding Planner did reasonably well in the US but suffered in the UK because of the poor reviews from across the pond. I quite like the occasional Romantic comedy so I was looking forward to taking a look at this attempt.

Can I have your autograph Miss Lopez!
Movie
The Wedding Planner as the title suggests is about a Wedding Planner! Her name is Mary Flore (Jennifer Lopez) who is very good at her job. In fact she is so good at her job that she brings in more income than the rest of her company combined. This prompts her to arrange with her boss a bet which if she wins means that she would be a partner in the company. The bet involved Mary winning the job of planning the wedding for a wealthy famous family.

Flore's life seems good but she misses the one thing that all of her clients have and that is a loved one. She is unlucky in love but also works too hard, so meeting the man of her dreams seems like a million miles away. That is until a freak incident with a pair of Gucci shoes allows her to meet a handsome doctor (Matthew McConaughey). The pair go on a date and Flore’s starts thinking that he may be the one for her. Things take a turn for the worst when Flore realises that he is actually the fiancé of someone she is planning a wedding for. Flore decides to carry on planning the wedding whilst the doctor pretends that nothing has happened.

Jennifer Lopez has decided to go back to a less strange role after the part she played in The Cell. She is very convincing as the strict and fussy planner but the very quick script and poor cast members do not help her. Matthew McConaughey is not known for his romantic films, so it seems a bad casting move to have him in one of the main roles. The last film that I saw him in was U-571, which suited him more. He does a reasonable job but the film would have been better if they had recruited someone like George Clooney. Also worth mentioning is Bridgette Wilson-Sampras who plays McConaughey’s girlfriend. The character she plays is quite spoilt and doesn’t really seem to have a personality. She appears now and again in the movie but never really seems to catch on that Lopez and McConaughey are emotionally involved.

The opening scene in this movie is quite impressive and takes the form of a wedding, which is just about to begin. Everyone is flapping about, yet Flore is calm and sorts out any problems. Believe it or not it is quite an exciting scene, which could have set the tone for a good movie. However from then on the movie goes downhill until it falls down at the end with an almighty thud!

Why did I choose to do this movie?
I won’t beat around the bush with this review. I have to admit to being extremely disappointed by The Wedding Planner. The film is so unoriginal. Most of the ideas in the movie are taken from other films. It reminded me a lot of My Best Friends Wedding and other similar films. The film is billed as a romantic comedy but there are very few laughs on offer. The ending is also very lame and predictable. In fact the whole film is very predictable and offers nothing new over recent romantic films. Bluntly put it is not funny, very unoriginal and has a very predictable ending. See it if you want but be warned!

Video
The Wedding Planner is a very recent release so you would not expect anything but a near perfect transfer. Well that is what you get. It is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The picture is very clear and the colours were crisp and bright. There are a lot of bright scenes during the movie and the colours seem true and fresh.

One quick mention about the menus included on this DVD. The menus are quite clever and take the form of a diary. They look pretty but they are not very easy to navigate around. It introduces an interesting question about whether DVD menus should be usable or visually stunning. I suppose the answer would be somewhere between the two which this DVD is not.

If only I could get him in my special wrestling move
Audio
The audio available on this disc is either English 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2 Channel Dolby Surround. The 5.1 soundtrack is actually quite impressive and is better than most of the other romantic comedies soundtracks available. There are several points in the film where the full extent of my system was used. I was quite impressed with some of the outdoors scenes, which brought to life the noises of animals like birds in trees. However this is not a movie to show off the sound to friends so the good soundtrack is a little wasted on a plain movie.

Extras
The extras on this disc are adequate but nothing really special. As more 2-disc versions of DVDs become more common it is going to take some special additions to make a DVD stand out from the crowd. At first glance the disc looks like it has a lots of extras, which complement the film. However a lot of the extras are short and only really scratch the surface.

The most impressive extras included are the deleted scenes. Each scene has an option to watch them with the director’s commentary. There are 7 deleted scenes altogether, which fit in at various points in the movie. The first deleted scenes is an alternate opening which is a completely different approach to opening the movie them was included. The director commentary for each scene is interesting. The director talks about what is happening in the scenes and why they were removed. While the deleted scenes are a worthwhile addition some of them are not very long and look like they were added to beef up the extras.  There is also a commentary from the director, which complement the actual movie.

Also worth looking at is the Making of Featurette, which included interviews with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. Both actors talk about their views on the movie. They also talk about their respective characters. In between the interviews are various clips from the movie. I would advise not watching this featurette before the film though as it shows a lot of the good parts in the movie. Once again this featurette is very short and is probably a feature, which was show on TV before the movie was released. The featurette runs at just over 3 minutes so could have been a little more detailed. It would have been nice to hear from the other actors in the movie. The second featurette included on the disc is titled The Dancer and the Cowboy Featurette. This short featurette talks about two scenes in the movie. The first scenes is the dancing scenes between the two main characters. Matthew McConaughey talks about how he was scared of that particular scene, as Lopez was so at ease dancing. The other scenes mentioned is the horse riding scene. This is an interesting addition as the roles are reversed. This time Jennifer Lopez was scared of the scenes and there is some behind the scenes footage, which shows her scared.  

The strangest extras included are the trailers. It is normal for a trailer of the movie to be included on the DVD but for some reason there are also trailers of My Best Friend’s Wedding, U Turn and Anaconda. Also on the disc is a Filmographies which highlights the films that the main actors/actresses have been in.

Overall
I really wanted to enjoy The Wedding Planner but unfortunately I found it quite boring and it offered nothing new over all the other recent romantic comedies. The actors do their best with a weak script. The picture and sound are very good for this movie and deserve a better movie to show off. The extras on the disc are also adequate and anything extra additions might not have been worth the time and effort. The only reason that I watched them was because I had to do this review. The film didn’t particularly inspire me to watch extra footage about the film. If you are a fan of Jennifer Lopez then you will probably watch this film. Just don’t expect anything more then average.


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