Rum And Rom-Coms: Remembering The Pre-McConaughssaince McConaughey In ‘The Wedding Planner’

I am excited to do a Rum and Rom-Coms this week, because mama (me) really needs a drink. I got a free bottle of gin in the mail a few months ago, and am looking forward to break into that bad boy while watching the Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez classic, The Wedding Planner (2001). I am also looking forward to growing so frustrated over how often I misspell McConaughey that I throw my bottle of gin against the wall, like a gritty film noir detective who just found out his wife cheated on him. By the way, you are going to grow very angry with me because I will be referring to Jennifer Lopez as J-Lo frequently throughout this.

Drink #1: Gin with soda and lime (this will be every drink I drink tonight).

I have learned over these past few months that the opening credits of a romantic comedy tell me exactly how good-bad or bad-bad the film is going to be. On the credits here we have wedding invitation font, and a song so cutesy that it makes me want to puke glitter. Hmm, I’m going to go with good-bad.

The film opens with a little girl, who I assume is Jennifer Lopez, talking to her Barbie doll about getting married. The gorgeous, white Barbie in a wedding dress then transforms into a gorgeous, real-live white woman in a wedding dress. Jennifer Lopez is now talking to her and saying the same things she said to her Barbie. Time has passed by the way, and J-Lo is older. It’s not like the Barbie turned into a person then baby J-Lo acted like that was totally normal.

This bride is freaking out over the idea of having to legally commit to one human being for the rest of her life, as if this might be a bad idea or something. J-Lo is calming her down by telling her she has nice thighs. She also name drops Whitney Houston, saying that she planned her wedding too. Whitney needed the same pep talk to go on. This is supposed to be a tell that J-Lo is a legit wedding planner, but it’s mostly just telling me that J-Lo ruined Whitney Houston’s life. The bride calms down, and is ready to go on. J-Lo is now attending to other official wedding business, and is very professional and super business. I know this because her hair is tied up in a bun, and she is wearing a headset. Things seem to be going smoothly, but uh-oh. The father of the bride is MISSING. J-Lo shouts things like “code red code red”, and finally finds him drunk off his ass. Dads!

The rest of the wedding goes smoothly, and two wedding guests talk about the J-Lo. They say she must lead such a romantic life. Nope! It then it cuts to J-Lo coming to the apartment she lives at, alone. She eats dinner, alone. Sits on her couch, alone. Watches Antiques Roadshow, alone. What a loser! She eats food in her apartment by herself like some sort of spinster. Now she’s vacuuming, like some sort of sociopath.

If this horrific glimpse into her pathetic, sad life was not enough–the next scene shows her playing Scrabble with her dad and a bunch of his really old friends. The game is put on hold when her Italian papa says that he found his Italian princess a husband for her. A guy she knew when she spent a summer in Italy at 7 years old. His name is Mossimo, and papa then brings him in. Wait, why did her dad wait halfway through a game of Scrabble to tell his daughter that there is a husband waiting for her in the kitchen? By the way, the movie could have at least done some research on Italian words and names. Mossimo is a clothing line at Target, everyone knows that. Anyhow, he is extremely attractive for a mail order husband. Now he says “prego”, which is a pasta sauce. Seriously? You couldn’t look up REAL Italian words instead of these made-up ones?

The next day, in her boss’s office, she demands to be partner of the wedding planning company. She slams her hands on the desk and says, “You know I’m the best you’ve got!” Her boss finally says she can, if she lands the Donolly account. The Donnollys are rich, you see.

She meets the Donolly family while working another wedding. The fiance and her parents ask her what she envisions the perfect wedding to be like, and J-Lo says very generic things like “white” and “candles”. The three of them are completely mesmerized by how captivating her image of a perfect wedding is. White AND candles? Genius! You got the job!

In all her excitement about this new account, J-Lo walks in the middle of a street while on the phone. Her shoe gets stuck in a manhole cover. She manages to get away, but without the shoe. A guy eating ice cream in his car drops said ice cream, which makes him hit a dumpster. The dumpster now comes flying towards J-Lo, who refuses to leave the manhole because she has to save her shoe. She keeps staring at the dumpster hurdling towards her, yet refuses to give up on the shoe. Us girls, we love our shoes! Matthew McConaughey quickly runs up and saves her by pushing her out of the way. Man, he looks like so different. Actually, he looks a lot like Ethan Embry of Can’t Hardly Wait fame. What if, in an alternate universe, it is Ethan Embry who went on the be a world-renowned car spokesperson, and Mathew McConaughey the actor who only four people in the universe know the name of without checking IMDB first?

In the hospital, three kids are crowded around J-Lo. A little boy says she is going to heaven because she has the cleanest toes he’s ever seen. This is how fetishes start. McConaughey comes in to kick the kids out. He is a pediatrician named Steve. Nothing is more attractive than a pediatrician named Steve. Maybe a dentist named Frank. MAYBE. In his office, J-Lo is fixing herself up with make-up before he comes back in. Girl, you have a middle part and don’t look like a serial killer. This automatically puts you in the top 1% of gorgeous. Any Steve would be happy to have you.

Later that night, J-Lo and Steve hang out at an outdoor movie screening in a park. They sit by a tree, and she reveals to him that she is a member of the Bay Area Scrabble Club, and also mentions her mom being dead. Then he says something about only eating brown m&m’s. They both have quirks! He says that this is the coolest thing he has ever done in the city. This film takes place in San Francisco, by the way. Having lived in San Francisco, I can safely say that there are way cooler things you can do. You can go to bars, where at least four pit bulls belonging to crust punks will be hanging out near you. That’s already cooler than seeing a movie in a park. You can also…actually that’s all I got. Maybe Vince can think of more.

I am on drink number two. Extra gin. Mostly gin. J-Lo asks Steve to dance. Okay, I need a shot. Turns out he is a good dancer, and she asks him how he learn to dance so good. He responds, “ballroom class”. She then says, “Oh, you’re gay.” A gay joke? Did a third grader write this?

The alcohol is starting to hit me. They’re about to kiss, but then it starts raining. The rain stops them from making out? This is breaking a huge rom-com rule. Did they not read the guide book? Rom-com regulations clearly state: If an [Attractive Man] is within 5 feet of an [Attractive Woman] while it is raining, said [Attractive Man] must kiss [Attractive Woman] until it cuts to next scene, or credits roll. The two must act like being covered in cold rainwater is romantic, and fun. If they at all seem displeased by being soaking wet while passionately kissing, they will be executed. RIP J-Lo and McConaughey.

I know what you’re thinking here. Where’s the conflict? What is stopping J-Lo from being with Matthew McConaughey? Why can’t the hot and successful wedding planner have nice things? Well guess what bub. Boy, do I got a conflict for you. This conflict is so conflicting, they should rename this movie Conflict. See, what hapens next is, J-Lo meets up with the Donolly girl at a BALLROOM DANCE CLASS. She has not yet MET THE FIANCE. I repeat, J-Lo has not been introduced to the MALE FIANCE of the woman whose account she must land in order to be partner of the wedding planning company. She finally meets the MAN, and guess who it is. Guess who just happens to be ENGAGED to the DONOLLY woman? That’s right. It’s none other than ETHAN EMBRY. Yes, seriously. Ethan Embry is in this movie. How random is that? I was just thinking about him earlier, and now he is in the movie. Embry and McConaughey can’t be in the same movie. How will J-Lo choose between them? Oh, wait. I’m wrong. It’s still Matthew McConaughey. He is engaged to the Donolly girl. This is extremely disappointing. Well hey J-Lo, at least now you know he’s not gay! Just an unfaithful dirtbag.

Okay this movie is really boring. I’m on my third drink. I’m also hungry, so I got myself a piece of the sugar-free chocolate cake I made at two o’clock in the morning last night. I felt depressed over my bank charging me close to $300 in overdraft fees, and figured I should eat my feelings in a pseudo-responsible way. These were 99 cent charges, that I now have to pay nearly $300 for. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, why should I pity you? I get it, you’re right. It is my fault. It’s my fault that I just had to buy those extra lives, in order to beat level 45 of Candy Crush Soda Saga (the new Candy Crush game). It’s my fault that I am an adult who is addicted to Facebook games, because they are fun to play while watching the Carrie Diaries (Sex and the City prequel), until four in the morning. It’s my fault I am still single, and live in a living room. Everything is my fault. Law school would have been a good fit for me. The bank is right. Is that what you want to hear, mom? I mean, reader. I’m taking another shot.

Also, a lot of movie just happened but I don’t care. However, I noticed that Kevin Pollak plays the part of Matthew McConaughey’s best friend. This is my favorite thing about romantic comedies. The best friend pairings never make sense, especially for the dudes. This is almost as bad as Tom Hanks and Dave Chapelle in You’ve Got Mail. Although, I really wish those two were best friends in real life.

J-Lo has to go to Napa with the Donolly girl and Steve. She was close to quitting the account, but her dedication to succeed in business overtook her feelings for a man. A disgrace to women everywhere.

Mossimo shows up to Napa???? He tells the engaged couple that he is J-Lo’s fiance. Steve is all like, “Looks like I’m not the only dirtbag”.

Steve saves J-Lo’s life again, this time from a horse. Is this what falling in love is? One person constantly having to get into near-death situations, while the other one has to save them? Is this why I have trouble “committing”? Everything makes sense now.

J-Lo is warming up to Mossimo, who is actually a nice guy. Her dad tells her that he had an arranged marriage with her mother, so she’s second-guessing arranged marriages. I am too.

Steve gets his hand stuck on the penis of a statue.

As interesting as that last thing might have sounded, this movie is very boring. Taking another shot. Also, I’m trying to blow a very hard-to-reach booger out of my nose. I can feel it in there but it doesn’t want to get out. I’m trying to get it out with a q-tip, but it’s just making me sneeze without booger-extracting results. Hey, as pointless as this might sound, trust me when I say the saga of my snot is more interesting than anything going on onscreen.

Alright so I’m over an hour into this film and pretty wasted if you could not yet infer. J-Lo and Steve are at an outdoor flower shop. J-Lo spots a man from afar with a pregnant woman, and hides. She ducks under a table, and crawls to avoid running into him. We all know what happens when a girl does this, she ends up running right into him! Never fails. Turns out this man is her ex-fiance. Whaaaa. She was engaged, but he cheated on her with the pregnant woman he is married to now. Now we know why she is so damaged (because she plays Scrabble so much).

J-Lo gets drunk off of a six-pack of Rolling Rock. I guess she really is still “Jenny from the block”. Steve takes care of her. More bonding crap.

Steve’s fiance, the Donolly woman (Fran), confronts J-Lo about her hesitation to get married. Oh come on. Why is this movie making everything so easy? J-Lo gives her the same speech she gave to the woman in the beginning, but leaves out the thing about thighs and Whitney Houston.

J-Lo decides to marry Mossimo.

Montage of both couple’s wedding preparations.

It’s the wedding day, yay! I am excited because this means the film is almost over. So I guess J-Lo and Steve are having their weddings on the same day, which makes no sense. Doesn’t J-Lo have to be at the wedding she is putting together for her clients? Just like she did in the beginning of the film? Why would she make her wedding the same day as Steve’s wedding? I mean, what if one of them changes their mind? That person would then have to run to the other wedding and get there in time to profess their love. This was very poor planning on J-Lo’s part.

Steve and his fiance amicably decide not to marry. He sends her off in a taxi, and she waves goodbye. This is reasonable, and not at all unrealistic. Steve is all like, “Cool she is out of the way. Time to stop J-Lo’s wedding.”

We cut to J-Lo’s wedding in a court house. The only people there are her dad, and Scrabble friends. Before J-Lo says “I do”, her dad objects. Her dad. The one who shipped the nice, Italian boy over. He now thinks that she is making a mistake. Everyone agrees, even Mossimo. People are really good at dealing with rejection in this movie. Steve finally arrives, but J-Lo already left. Mossimo helps him find the woman that just left him at the altar.

Where is J-Lo? At that park, sitting by that tree, watching that movie. Now, she is only eating the brown m&m’s because she is in love. Whatever. They say stuff and kiss passionately. Credits roll, and J-Lo’s “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” plays. Cool. This is over. Awesome. Great.

Literally nothing in this film was remotely funny, or interesting. It was the ultimate blah person loves blah person, but this blah gets in the way of that blah, then after some blah blah blah the two main blahs get together and live blahppily ever blah blah. Did I mention that I am really drunk? I had a fourth drink somewhere between all this.

The Wedding Planner gets a score of a perfect 10 on the drunk scale. This is a first. Not only did I have to get very wasted to watch it, but nothing about this film was good-bad. It was all bad-bad. I was foolish to think there would be any good-bad. If this movie was a coma patient, I’d pull the plug! Someone get that quote on RottenTomatoes ASAP.

If you’ll excuse me, I must go eat more sugar free cake and cry myself to sleep. By the way, J-Lo’s name in the film was Mary.