My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

Directed by P.J. Hogan
Starring Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney,
Cameron Diaz, and Rupert Everett

Sometimes we find ourselves
asking...ourselves ...very serious "What does it all mean" type questions. We fret over the big stuff and hardly take the time to enjoy the little things. We wonder and "love" and "family" and the "future" and replay the "past" and how we can make things better (all the main themes in so many of the chick flicks I've forced myself to watch). We forget to live in the moment. In our rush of trying to get things done and make things happen we dismiss the hokey cliche phrases like, "take time to smell the roses" and "enjoy the small things". But, I've found it is in these small things like taking the time to actually smell the roses that makes everything bearable, actually makes life worth living. It is the small moments on this earth and the people around us that actually give us "meaning" in our lives. It could be something as simple as the helping hand of a complete stranger, a passing smile, or a loving hug that lets us know that we are all in this together.

What does this all have to do with "My Best Friend's Wedding"? Other than the fact, that is hokey garbage like this that comprises a majority of the chick flicks that grace the silver screen. I chose to watch this for different reasons. One, I've never seen it which makes it a necessity for this site. But, it is also appropriate because I just witnessed the marriage one of my best friends in the world. I have a precious few of these friendships and although it probably has never been verbalized they are the type of friendships (sometimes referred to as "Bro"mances...or "brothers from another mother") and one of the many elements that help to give my life meaning. If one of my friends is reading this and wondering if he, or her, is one of these friendships...let me be the first to tell are.

In MBFW, Julia Roberts plays Julianne Porter, a 28 year old New York food critic, who has had a long string of "two week" relationships that she can't seem to break. Her best friend is a sports writer who lives in Chicago named Micheal O'Neal, played by Dermot Mulroney. During their sophomore yeah in college Julianne and Micheal had a one month romantic relationship that evolved into a close 9-year friendship. The type of friendship in which they know everything about each other. At some point during their friendship they promised each other that if they weren't married when they were 28 then both of them would tie the knot. This was a promise that Julianne always considered a joke. That is until she discovers that Micheal is about to marry a young 20-year old blonde named Kimberly Wallace, played by a young Cameron Diaz. And, he is going to marry her in 4 days. Realizing that she really does "love" Micheal she flies off to Chicago to sabotage the wedding and "win" Micheal where she is intercepted by Kimberly and crowned the "Maid of Honor". As with all "chick flicks" chaos and, in the case of this film, singing at the dinner table ensues.

Now, this has nothing in common with the marriage of my best friend. We're both men...manly men (pound chest). I flew to Florida more than happy he was getting married. I love his fiance (now his new wife) and think she really is the best for him. But, this movie got me thinking about the "moments" I was referring to earlier . In the movie, Julianne, has just realized she has sabotaged the wedding by sending an email to Micheal's boss, in the name of his fiance's father, asking him to fire Micheal so he can come work for his Father-in-law. Julianne sits regretfully in the hallway of her hotel frantically smoking a cigarette as Micheal confronts his fiance, Kimberly, on the phone in her hotel room. A bellman, played by Paul Giamatti walks and informs Julianne that it is a "non-smoking" floor to which she emotionally replies, "Why don't you just have me arrested". Now, Richard, the bellman, could have her arrested. He could scream and shout and call down to security and cause a big scene. But, he doesn't do that. Instead, he kneels down and listens to her for a moment and then takes the cigarette from her and takes a long drag and gives her back the cigarette. He then quotes his Grandmother stating, "this too shall pass", and continues on his way. While this could be easily construed as a cheesy cinematic moment. In fact, it is. I felt it reflected the type of small moments that allow us to stop for a moment and realize we are all on this crazy world together.

If I, Joshua, like Julianne, had any problem (which I didn't) with my best friend's marriage, I would most certainly been played the fool by one such "moment". As we rode to one of the many pre-wedding events I sat in the backseat behind my friend and his future wife. Somehow, while stopped at a red light, the subject of Super Mario Bro's 2 came up in conversation. My friend began to hum the score to the video game in sing-song. His fiance answers back humming some other musical part of the game. And so, this continued on back and forth. Now, normally, this wouldn't be any big deal, nothing more than too people humming. But, as I watched on, I watched them both laughing, smiling, and enjoying one another, as if they really were the only two people in the world, I knew that I was witnessing a small glimpse of "true love". Between all the stress and insanity of wedding plans, and dinners, and floral arrangements, and tux rentals, and everything else...they found 30 seconds to stop and laugh with one another...just the two of them... sitting at stoplight....singing the tune of Super Mario Bro's 2. Who could ever argue with that?

FORCE THE BOYFRIEND: 5 out of 10 (1 mean he'll hate it, 10 means he'll love it)

Watched if you liked...any chick flick about weddings.

Chick Flick: 4 cartons of ice cream (out of 5)
DVD: 2 pieces of milky chocolate (out of 5)
Beer: 5 manly high fives (out of 5)- because, well, it's Miller Lite.

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