My Best Friend's Wedding is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by P.J. Hogan from a screenplay by Ronald Bass. The film stars Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz and Rupert Everett.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics and was a global box-office hit. The soundtrack song "I Say a Little Prayer (For You)" was covered by singer Diana King and featured heavily in the film, making it a US Billboard Hot 100 hit. The soundtrack featured a number of Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs.
Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts), a 27-year-old New York City restaurant critic, receives a call from her lifelong friend Michael O'Neal (Dermot Mulroney). In college, the two made an agreement that if neither of them were married by the time they turned 28, they would marry each other. Three weeks before her 28th birthday, Michael tells her that in four days, he will marry Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz), a 20-year-old University of Chicago student from a wealthy family.
Julianne is disappointed that Michael will marry someone whom she perceives as being so wrong for him, and someone he has known for such a short time. She realizes that she is in love with Michael, and heads to Chicago, intent on sabotaging his wedding. Soon after arriving she meets Kimmy, who asks her to be the maid of honor. This sets off a subplot in which Julianne must pretend to be the dutiful maid of honor while secretly scheming ways to prevent the wedding from happening. When trying on dresses, Michael walks in on Julianne in her underwear as he tells her that she looks great, leaving her to think that she still has a chance to get him back. She also engages in petty sabotage—for example, taking Kimmy and Michael to a karaoke bar after discovering that Kimmy is a terrible singer.
When these tactics fail, Julianne enlists the aid of her friend, George (Rupert Everett) to help her break Michael and Kimmy up. George flies to Chicago to meet Julianne and persuades her to do the obvious: tell Michael that she is in love with him. While at a tailor shop, George convinces Julianne to tell Michael her true feelings before it’s too late. While she finally has the chance to tell him, she gets nervous and quickly tells him that she is engaged to George to get him jealous. Speechless, Michael is shocked about seeing Julianne with someone other than him.
Since Julianne didn’t tell the truth, George tries to get back at her by embarrassing her. On the taxi ride to the church, he snuggles up to Julianne to make her uncomfortable in front of Michael. At dinner he also decides to embarrass Julianne by telling everyone an exaggerated story of how they hypothetically became a couple, and sings “I Say a Little Prayer” as the whole restaurant joins in.
After George leaves to catch his flight back home, Julianne tells Michael the truth about her and George not being together, and Michael admits to being jealous, thinking they were really engaged.
Since it will be their last opportunity to spend time together before his new life as a married man, Michael gets Julianne to go on a boat ride with him. He expresses some skepticism about marrying Kimmy, explaining that he and Kimmy don't share a special song like he and Julianne do. Michael discreetly gives Julianne the invitation to tell him she's in love with him, but she lets the opportunity pass. Michael starts singing their song, “The Way You Look Tonight” in her ear as he grabs Julianne and holds her while they dance one last time.
As the wedding date is approaching, Julianne becomes more desperate to win Michael. She uses Kimmy’s father email account to forge a fake message to Michael's boss, and chooses to save it for later instead of deleting it—that way it will give Kimmy the opportunity to continue on with school and cause Michael to want to leave Kimmy if he can’t have his dream job.
Realizing Kimmy’s father had sent out all of his emails, including the fake one Julianne wrote, she forces Michael to go back to his job so she can get the letter before he finds it. Since the place was closed, Julianne and Michael make their way back to the hotel. Unfortunately, Michael already received the letter and causes a major fit, calling off the wedding, also leaving Julianne alone as he goes for a walk.
The next morning, the day of the wedding, Julianne tries to sabotage the situation further; as Michael and Kimmy are not speaking to each other, they communicate through Julianne, not realizing she is trying to manipulate them into breaking up for good. In spite of this, Michael and Kimmy decide they do love each other and want to get married after all. Leaving Julianne to feel vulnerable, she and Michael then take a walk during which she finally confesses her love to him. She asks him to marry her, and passionately kisses him. Kimmy witnesses this, and runs off, but Michael chases her while Julianne chases Michael.
As Julianne is chasing after Michael in a truck, she frantically calls George explaining the situation, and George makes it clear to her that Kimmy is the one Michael loves because he is chasing after her and not Julianne. Julianne finds Michael at Chicago Union Station, where he is looking for Kimmy, and confesses all to him. Despite his anger at her deception, Michael forgives Julianne, and they split up to look for Kimmy. Julianne then tracks down Kimmy in the bathroom of Comiskey Park (Kimmy's family has a private viewing box at the stadium). Kimmy, rightly furious with Julianne, confronts her, while the other women watch, immediately siding with Kimmy and are disgusted with Julianne's dirty tactics. Julianne, however, apologizes and explains to Kimmy that she kissed Michael unexpectedly, but he didn't kiss her back because he was in love with Kimmy. Julianne declares that Kimmy has won, and that she accepts Michael's decision. Kimmy and Julianne reconcile with each other while the witnesses applaud.
After the wedding, at the reception, Julianne gives a speech as Michael's “best woman” and tells him that he and Kimmy can use their special song until they find one of their own, essentially acting like a true best friend. Julianne wishes them well, and she and Michael share their goodbyes, both of them finally moving on with their lives. Later, Julianne is surprised by George showing up at the wedding reception. The movie ends with the two of them happily sharing a dance together.
- Julia Roberts as Julianne Potter, a 27-year-old food critic who realizes she's in love with her best friend Michael and tries to win him back after he decides to marry someone else.
- Dermot Mulroney as Michael O'Neal, Julianne's best friend and a sportswriter who is engaged to Kimmy Wallace.
- Cameron Diaz as Kimberly "Kimmy" Wallace, Michael's fiancée who comes from an affluent family.
- Rupert Everett as George Downes, Julianne's gay friend, editor who pretends to be engaged to Julianne to make Michael jealous.
- Philip Bosco as Walter Wallace, husband of Isabelle, father of Kimmy, and future father-in-law of Michael. He is a rich businessman who owns the Chicago White Sox baseball team.
- M. Emmet Walsh as Joe O'Neal, father of Michael and Scotty O'Neal and future father-in-law of Kimmy. He suggested that Julianne be Michael's best man, but had to go with Scotty instead.
- Rachel Griffiths as Samantha Newhouse, twin sister of Mandy and one of Kimmy's bridesmaids.
- Carrie Preston as Mandy Newhouse, twin sister of Samantha and one of Kimmy's bridesmaids.
- Susan Sullivan as Isabelle Wallace, wife of Walter, mother of Kimmy, and future mother-in-law of Michael.
- Christopher Masterson as Scotty O'Neal, youngest son of Joe and younger brother of Michael and future brother-in-law of Kimmy. He serves as his brother's best man at his wedding.
- Paul Giamatti as Richard, a bellman who encounters Julianne in a hotel hallway.
The film opened at No. 2 at the North American box office, making $21,678,377 USD in its opening weekend, behind Batman & Robin. It stayed in the top 10 weekly U.S. box-office for six consecutive weeks, and eventually earned $127,120,029. The worldwide gross total stands at $299,288,605 (listed as one of the 10 biggest films of 1997 both domestically and worldwide).
The film received generally positive reviews from critics. As of 27 February 2018, the film holds a 73% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Thanks to a charming performance from Julia Roberts and a subversive spin on the genre, My Best Friend's Wedding is a refreshingly entertaining romantic comedy." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 50 out of 100 based on 23 critical reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Total Film praised the film, giving it four stars out of five and stating "Here she banishes all memories of Mary Reilly and I Love Trouble with a lively, nay sparkling, performance. Smiling that killer smile, shedding those winning tears, delivering great lines with effortless charm, Roberts is back where she rightly belongs - not in grey period costume, but as the sexy queen of laughs". The Review also said that "My Best Friend's Wedding is a perfect date movie", and a film that "proves Roberts isn't as crap as we all thought she was".
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it "the summer-date-film supreme for pretty women and the gay men they love", despite criticisms of the script. He praises Roberts as "riper, more dexterous with a comic line, slyer with modulation", concluding that "Roberts puts her heart into this one". Joanna Berry of Radio Times gave it four stars out of five, observing that this "sparkling comedy" proved to be a career-resurrecting movie for Julia Roberts.
Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times said, "One of the pleasures of Ronald Bass' screenplay is the way it subverts the usual comic formulas that would fuel a plot like this." CNN movie reviewer Carol Buckland said Roberts "lights up the screen", calling the film "fluffy fun".
Andrew Johnson, writing in Time Out New York, observed, "The best scene occurs when Julianne's gay editor and confidant George (Everett) turns up in Chicago and poses as her fiancé, seizing control of the film for five delicious minutes. His devilish impersonation of a straight guy is priceless, and things only get better when he leads a sing-along at the rehearsal dinner. At times like this, when the film spins into pop culture overdrive that it stops being a star vehicle and flirts with genuine comic brilliance."
Awards and recognition
|Academy Awards||Best Original Score||James Newton Howard||Nominated|
|ALMA Awards||Outstanding Individual Performance in a Crossover Role in a Feature Film||Cameron Diaz||Won|
|American Comedy Awards||Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture||Rupert Everett||Won|
|ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top Box Office Films||James Newton Howard||Won|
|Awards Circuit Community Awards||Honorable Mentions||My Best Friend's Wedding||Nominated|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Actress – Comedy||Julia Roberts||Won|
|Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy||Rupert Everett||Won|
|Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy||Cameron Diaz||Won|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Casting Society of America||Best Casting for Feature Film – Comedy||David Rubin||Nominated|
|Chlotrudis Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Rupert Everett||Won|
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Film – Wide Release||My Best Friend's Wedding||Nominated|
|Golden Screen Awards||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||My Best Friend's Wedding||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||Julia Roberts||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|London Critics Circle Film Awards||British Supporting Actor of the Year||Rupert Everett||Won|
|MTV Movie + TV Awards||Best Female Performance||Julia Roberts||Nominated|
|Best Breakthrough Performance||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Best Comedic Performance||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|National Society of Film Critics Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||Best Picture – Comedy or Musical||Ronald Bass
|Best Actor – Comedy or Musical||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Best Actress – Comedy or Musical||Julia Roberts||Nominated|
|Best Title Sequences||Nominated|
|Best Music – Adapted Song||"Wishin' and Hopin' "||Nominated|
|Best Music – Adapted Song||"I Say a Little Prayer"||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Rupert Everett||Nominated|
|Satellite Award||Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||My Best Friend's Wedding||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||Julia Roberts||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||Rupert Everett||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||Cameron Diaz||Nominated|
American Film Institute recognition:
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - Nominated
The soundtrack was released on June 17, 1997 with Stage and Screen genre. The soundtrack relied on covers of familiar songs. The soundtrack was praised by AllMusic to work "better than it should, since most of the vocalists... concentrate on the songs..."
- "I Say a Little Prayer (For You)" – Diana King
- "Wishin' and Hopin' " – Ani DiFranco
- "You Don't Know Me" – Jann Arden
- "Tell Him" – The Exciters
- "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" – Nicky Holland
- "I'll Be Okay" – Amanda Marshall
- "The Way You Look Tonight" – Tony Bennett
- "What the World Needs Now Is Love" – Jackie Deshannon
- "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" – Mary Chapin Carpenter
- "Always You" – Sophie Zelmani
- "If You Wanna Be Happy" – Jimmy Soul
- "I Say a Little Prayer (For You)" – The Cast of My Best Friend's Wedding
- "Suite From My Best Friend's Wedding" – James Newton Howard
- Chart positions
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||1|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||11|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||19|
|French Albums (SNEP)||40|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||34|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||33|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||29|
|US Billboard 200||14|