The Wedding Planner

-

The Wedding Planner

Listen carefully as the opening credits start to roll for The Wedding Planner and you might hear the faint brushing of dust across yellow pages. A resolutely, calculatedly old-fashioned film, its script plays like a long-lost romantic comedy retrofitted with profanity and a couple of references to the Internet to better accommodate modern audiences. But if the film retains some of the blustery convolutions and happy-ending-assured comfort of an old studio production, it does so while ignoring all sense of craftsmanship, wit, and dramatic logic. Presiding over her business with military efficiency and Zen-like calm, Jennifer Lopez plays the titular wedding planner, a woman whose skill at managing others' affairs of the heart is, prepare yourself, matched only by the clumsiness with which she manages her own. After a handsome doctor (Matthew McConaughey) saves her from a runaway Dumpster, Lopez finds herself instantly smitten, only to discover she's already been contracted to manage his upcoming nuptials to Bridgette Wilson. Much confusion follows, some of it involving a handsome, English-mangling Sicilian (Justin Chambers) set up by Lopez's father (Alex Rocco) as a potential mate. With energy and teeth, The Wedding Planner might have transcended its overdetermined formula, but choreographer-turned-director Adam Shankman's dogged commitment to maintaining a sense of pleasantness gives the film the flavor and consistency of cold tomato soup. As a comedy, only Fred Willard's facial hair, in an otherwise wasted cameo, prompts anything close to a chuckle. As a romance, the collision of two appealing stars never stirs the hint of a spark. Lopez and McConaughey seem to know they're slumming, and both appear determined to get through the job as quickly as possible. They do look nice together, however, suggesting another possible origin for The Wedding Planner: It might be a film designed from the poster down.