Why “My Best Friend’s Wedding” is an Instant Classic
Jun 23, 2017   •   Desiree Pore
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Jun 23, 2017   •   Desiree Pore
When My Best Friend’s Wedding premiered 20 years ago, people expected a cliché, same old romantic comedy film wherein the girl gets the guy in the end, because “that’s how rom com films work.” But when viewers learned that the girl, in this case the phenomenal Julia Roberts, didn’t get the guy, (her best friend) movie-goers were actually glad. With her crazy antics and outright mean tactics, Roberts’ Jules proves that she’s not your typical lead.
What makes the film a classic is, it’s a refreshing take on the romantic comedy genre and the boy-girl platonic relationship plot during the era wherein storylines like a prostitute gets the luck of her life by meeting a wealthy business man (surprise, ends up being together) or when a widowed man falls in love with a Seattle resident when she hears his voice were heavily used. My Best Friend’s Wedding is that rare gem that comes every now and then that stays in our pop culture consciousness even decades after it first graced us.
Sometimes the casting gods align their stars to give us the perfect casting; this is one of those times. Can you imagine someone other than the Queen of Rom com herself sabotaging her best friend’s wedding? I don’t think so.
Hollywood is a sucker for happy endings, that’s why according to Entertainment Weekly, the studio filmed a different ending wherein we’ll see Jules being asked by Michael’s friend to dance. That friend turned out to be John Corbett (you know, Carrie’s one that got away in Sex and the City). It tested negative to audiences (thank god), so they had Jules end up with her gay editor friend on the dance floor as an ending to the unconventional rom com film.
What makes My Best Friend’s Wedding and other timeless films such as When Harry Met Sally and Annie Hall a classic is how it tackles the ins and outs of a “platonic” boy-girl relationship. It raises the argument “can men and women ever just be friends and nothing more?” In this case, the girl has feelings for the other that wasn’t reciprocated by her closest friend, and it gave us a damn good movie about it.
“The moment I wake up…” is probably the most iconic song lyrics used for a rom com film. The scene which features the song is also an iconic one, as George, Jules’ gay editor friend pretending to be her fiancé, gathers the people in a sing along. The soundtrack is so great that it was nominated for an Academy Award.
My Best Friend’s Wedding catapulted Diaz to mainstream success, starring in another iconic film There’s Something About Mary the year after. It’s so hard to root for Jules when you’ve got Diaz as her rival. Her bubbly persona shines throughout the film and resonated to us even after.
The unconventional ending means so much more when you relate it in real life. After confessing her undying love for her best friend, Michael still chased Kimmy after she saw them kissing. In the end Jules apologized and realized that she’ll never get the guy; she might not be okay with it for now, but then she will be.
There’s a social stigma wherein women have to get married in a certain age so that society wouldn’t label them a “has been.” The issue is one of the underlying themes of the film, with Jules making a pact with her best friend to marry each other when they turn 28 if neither one of them is married until then. Its realness and relatability is what makes the film a hit to women in the middle of adulting.
Throughout the film Jules references Michael as her best friend, when in fact it was her gay editor friend George who’s her realest friend. Pretending to be your colleague’s fiancé, getting everyone to do a sing along and surprising you by attending the wedding reception, George is the real best friend here. In George’s iconic words: “Maybe there won’t be marriage, maybe there won’t be sex but my god there’ll be dancing.”
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