The Lo Down on the Wedding Woman
You could sum up "The Wedding Planner" by saying it is a mediocre movie which works through a tried and tested formula. And in saying so I am not being cruel because the storyline is your stereotypical romantic comedy, two people fall in love, but there are problems which must be sorted before hopefully and most likely they will get it together. The reason "The Wedding Planner" is mediocre is not because it's using a tried and tested formula but for a rom-com it's neither very romantic nor funny, just going through the motions and never reaching the point of being either magical or memorable.
Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez - Jack) is good at what she does and that is planning other people's weddings, so good that if she can pull in the next big contract she will become a partner in the firm she works for. So dedicated to her work is Mary that she has no time for her own life, that is until she is saved from being knocked over by a runaway dumpster by handsome paediatrician Steve (Matthew McConaughey - Failure to Launch). The trouble is that whilst it's obvious there is chemistry between them Steve is the boyfriend of Fran (Bridgette Wilson) and Fran just happens to have hired Mary to be their wedding planner. Although they try to do the right thing and stop their feelings for each other from stopping the wedding it's pretty obvious that their feelings are stronger than they can control.
So as already mentioned "The Wedding Planner" is movie which uses an old formula and although we have a wedding planner who innocently falls for the boyfriend of one of her clients it doesn't disguise the lack of originality. It's not really a problem as the whole formula of two people falling in love only for issues preventing them from getting together is okay; it works as has been proven in various other romantic comedies. And the fact that so many elements of "The Wedding Planner" feel like they have come from other movies isn't really a problem either.
The problem is that "The Wedding Planner" is a lifeless movie which ends up going through the motions, as if it's a mass produced movie without any heart. The romance of Mary and Steve never sizzles, never melts your heart or gets you championing them to get together whilst the humour is almost non existent. Actually the humour is best described as mostly far too subtle whilst the few major comedy moments often surrounding an Italian called Massimo are just forced. And there is a major issue; it all feels like it's forced with nothing feeling natural.
Despite all of this there are some nice moments, the less than subtle meet between Mary and Steve as she nearly gets hit by a dumpster is memorable as is the flower picking scene. But in a movie which lasts 103 minutes there are not anywhere near enough memorable moments.
Sadly the problems return when it comes to the main casting that of Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey both perfectly good looking to play the leads in a romantic comedy, well you don't really expect them to be anything else. But whilst they both look good there is absolutely no chemistry between them, the tender romantic scenes are flaccid as each just appear to be going through the motions, looking dewy eyed but never clicking. And the same can be said about the few scenes where they argue, it's just lacking that spark of chemistry to bring them to life, even the dancing scene is damp despite Jennifer Lopez demonstrating her dancing skills.
What this does mean is that the supporting cast end up being more interesting to watch than the stars. Bridgette Wilson is comically almost bitchy as Fran and Justin Chambers maybe over the top but at least he has life as Massimo. And then there is Judy Greer as Mary's best friend Penny, a role which Greer seems to be constantly cast as, that quirky one who encourages the main character to date.
What this all boils down to is that "The Wedding Planner" is as routine as they come with little if anything original about it. The trouble is that between being lifeless and the lack of chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey it never delivers that rom-com magic, those scenes which ooze sickly sweet romance that stay with you long after the rest of the movie has been forgotten. It means that "The Wedding Planner" whilst pleasant ends up quite mediocre.