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THE WEDDING PLANNER ($25) was designed to be a sweet, funny and romantic "date movie" and in the regard, it is a complete success. I enjoyed the movie while I was watching it and plan to keep it handy the next time a young lady ventures into my home theater. Of course, since I was alone during my first viewing of the film, I had to picture myself with Jennifer Lopez, instead of her co-star for the film’s running time. Certainly, not as satisfying as having an actual date for this "date movie," but what else was this lone reviewer to do.


In THE WEDDING PLANNER, Jennifer Lopez stars as the title character, Mary Fiore, who is an organization genius when it comes to orchestrating other people’s weddings. Mary is prepared for any contingency, thus making sure that each of her female clients’ "special day" comes off perfectly. Since Mary herself is unmarried, her very Italian father Salvatore (Alex Rocco) is pushing her into matrimony with Massimo (Justin Chambers), a young man from the old country. Then, when she least expects it, fate intervenes, and Mary is rescued from a runaway garbage dumpster by Dr. Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey), with whom she is immediately smitten. Unfortunately, Mary quickly discovers that the man of her dreams is engaged to her latest client Fran Donolly (Bridgette Wilson- Sampras). Of course, since Mary is a complete professional, she decides to go ahead and plan Fran’s wedding, despite whatever feelings she might have for the groom-to-be. Things, however, become complicated when Fran is forced to go out of town on business- leaving Mary and Steve alone to work on the wedding plans. The cast of THE WEDDING PLANNER also features Judy Greer, Joanna Gleason, Charles Kimbrough, Kevin Pollak, Fred Willard, Lou Myers, Frances Bay, Kathy Najimy and Fabiana Udenio.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made THE WEDDING PLANNER available in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Like almost all "A List" movies coming off theatrical release, THE WEDDING PLANNER looks absolutely terrific on DVD. The image is incredibly clean, crisp and well defined. Daylight scenes practically pop off the screen, thanks to the hyper-realistic level of clarity that this DVD provides. Additionally, the film element used for the transfer is just about flawless. Colors are wonderfully vibrant, especially the sequence at the flower market that showed off a varied array of hues. Additionally, flesh tones consistently maintain very a healthy glow. Blacks appear dead on, plus there is a superb level of shadow detail and depth to be found in this first rate transfer. Precise dual layer authoring camouflages all signs of digital compression artifacts.

For a romantic comedy, THE WEDDING PLANNER features a better than average Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix. Sound effects are somewhat better utilized than other films in this particular genre, and the soundstage has a more active presence. Certainly not overblown, but the mix is subtly effective. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced, with the actors’ voices having a natural sound and complete intelligibility. Both the film’s score and incidental music are well integrated into the mix- both have distinct character, but never overwhelm the other sonic elements. The bass channel doesn’t make its presence known in any active way, but the sound is always full bodied. An English Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

The cute basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. Director Adam M. Shankman, along with screenwriters Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis provide an amusing and entertaining running audio commentary that fills in all the necessary production details. Also included on the DVD are two lightweight PR featurettes that run in the neighborhood of three minutes each, plus seven scenes with optional director’s commentary, a theatrical trailer, three bonus trailers and filmographies.

THE WEDDING PLANNER is an enjoyable romantic comedy, in addition to being a great looking DVD. If you are looking for a "date movie" to screen in your home cinema, you can’t go wrong with a copy of this DVD.


The Wedding Planner


DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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