Picks and Pans Review: The Wedding Planner

UPDATED 02/05/2001 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/05/2001 at 01:00 AM EST

Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Justin Chambers

"Grooms are N.I.D.—not interested in details," declares Mary Fiore (Lopez), who makes a comfortable living arranging and overseeing the most complicated, costly and chichi matrimonial events in San Francisco. "The F.O.B. is M.I.A.," she barks into her headset when a bride's dad disappears just prior to the walk down the aisle. Such insider argot may make an initials impression, but it's all too clear early on that The Wedding Planner is D.O.A.

The central joke of this lackluster romantic comedy is that while its heroine spends her days making the romantic dreams of others come true, she doesn't seem able to find a match for herself. Then one day as Fiore crosses a street, her spanking new Gucci pump gets caught in a manhole cover. As a runaway garbage cart threatens to mow her down, a studly pediatrician (McConaughey) shoves her to safety, falling on top of her in the process. Never has meeting cute been this bruisingly clumsy, both for the couple onscreen and the audience.

Although the two are instantly attracted to each other, it turns out that Dr. Right is the fiancé of Fiore's star bride-to-be (Wilson-Sampras), an Internet tycoon. The rest of Planner-gracelessly directed by first-timer Adam Shankman-is a series of uninspired, dragged-out scenes all aimed at uniting Fiore and her medicine man. The comic nadir is reached when the doc winds up with the broken-off genitalia of a male statue glued to his palm.

Despite even that woeful scene, least damaged in this mess is McConaughey, who displays a self-confident, goofy charm as a comic leading man. Poor Lopez, however, flounders, never sure whether to play the emotion in a scene or swing for the punch lines. Consequently, she misses both. (PG-13)

Bottom Line: Vow to miss it

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