This weekend Matthew McConaughey’s new movie, Interstellar, opened and has been highly reviewed by those people who do that kind of shit. This is Matt’s follow-up leading role in a movie since his Oscar-winning performance in The Dallas Buyers Club and his superb HBO series True Detective. But long before he was a rodeo cowboy with HIV, long before he was a methodical crime solver, he was in a few Rom-coms who’s roles are a far cry from the complex and deep characters that he has recently played. And luckily, one of those rom-coms is on Netflix right now. I wouldn’t say that I am a huge fan of this category of movie, but I was curious to see how ol’ Matthew has evolved since his earlier roles. This is what has brought me to The Wedding Planner.
There are many reasons why this movie should have been a success (critically). The multi-talented, (term used loosely) Jennifer Lopez and a target audience of teenage girls, single college females, middle-aged career women, and pretty much any non-male species. But, there are also some reasons why this movie was not a success (critically). The semi-multi-talented JLo (Gigli, Jersey Girl, Maid in Manhattan) and NOT targeting any other species other than JLo-obsessed teenage girls, bored single college females, and angry middle-aged career women. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was the 6th male to ever watch this movie. The previous 5 males all watched with the expectation of seeing David Wooderson from Dazed and Confused, breezing his way through life and fortuitously running into JLo at a Santana concert while drinking beer and smoking a joint OR in the hopes they were getting laid after the movie.
Matthew’s character could not have been more opposite and, for me, was kind of refreshing to see and was the only actor that was believable. Which begs the question: Who came first? Lopez or McConaughey? Obvioulsy, Matthew is the better actor and is able to deliver a more complex role than JLo. But, butt goes a long way, too. Was the movie tailored to Lopez? Or was she the only one on Columbia Picture’s list who was available for the 2 ½ days of shooting that McConaughey had open to work around his jogging schedule with Lance Armstrong? Just like Tootsie Roll Lollipops, the world may never know…or care.
Matthew appears in the movie, heroically running into the scene saving Maria (Lopez) from a runaway dumpster (caused by a distracted Asian man trying to eat an ice cream cone) and conveniently landing on top of her. After performing a 10 second concussion test whilst still holding a position that would rival a trashy romantic novel cover with Fabio; Maria faints and the scene cuts to a hospital bed where Maria is surrounded by children. Turns out Matthew (Steve) is a goddamned pediatrician. Their relationship quickly grows to the point where they go on a pseudo-date, dance, share a couple of looks, and eventually get separated by a sudden rainstorm. In the coming days she is distracted by this new handsome, polite, successful, man who has come into her life. But if that was the whole story, then anyone with a pencil could write a movie. But this movie is called The Wedding Planner. Guess who’s fuckin’ wedding she has just been hired to plan?! Turns out that Maria has just been hired to plan a wedding for a tall, blonde-haired girl who’s fiancé is, dun dun dun, good ol’ Steve. And after this, the movie is pretty much one clichéd moment after another that ends with…well…I won’t spoil it for you.
Even though Matthew’s role is nothing like his more popular roles he plays in his recent, critically acclaimed movies (except for the accent), I can’t help but think that this role is how he is in real life. I doubt that he is a hard-partying, promiscuous, rodeo junkie or even an aging lothario who strips. He always seems to be a well- mannered and genuine person, which makes this the only believable and real part of this movie and keeps it from getting too ridiculous and…blah.
I’m not going to say that this was an AMAZING flick and that I am going to watch it over and over (Big Trouble In Little China); but, if you are hanging out with your significant other and cruising Netflix for something to watch and can’t decide between a life-changing doc or a droll series with incredible writing (Arrested Development); give it a try. The movie has a little something for everyone; mushy, ridiculous romance crap for the ladies and finally a REAL man’s reaction to how to deal with a relationship for the guys (and JLo’s butt)(or McConaughey’s butt if you prefer). The 1 hour 43 minutes don’t fly by, but it isn’t too painful either. Advice for guys: if you are going to watch this, DO NOT WATCH IT ALONE. And if you do, DO NOT TELL ANYONE.