My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Mitchell, 11. June 2007, 2:29

Dir. P.J. Hogan
Julia Roberts, Rupert Everett, Cameron Diaz, Paul Giamatti

This is what I wrote elsewhere about this movie:

saw My Best Friend’s Wedding when it was in theaters and didn’t like it because while Julia Roberts was actually quite good, I couldn’t stand her character. Then I found out recently that Paul Giamatti was in it, and I’m trying to see everything he’s in. So I added the film to my Netflix queue and got to watch it today while I worked on the Joomla. I still don’t like the film much, but I still think Julia is really good in it. I’d forgotten how good Cameron Diaz could be: She’s pretty dang good here, too, and definitely holds her own when on the screen with Julia. The one Paul Giamatti scene is EXCELLENT. I had absolutely no recollection of it, but it’s near the end of the film, when Julia’s character is sitting in the hall outside her hotel room, smoking a cigarette. Her best friend is on the phone in the room, pretty much calling off the wedding because of something horrible Julia has done (only he doesn’t know it). Paul Giamatti as a bellhop walks over and talks to her for a bit, eventually sharing her cigarette and offering some wisdom from his grandmother.

“Character actor” is one way of saying someone in Hollywood isn’t a star, and it’s how Giamatti had been described until he did American Splendor and then Sideways. When you see guys like Giamatti do what he does, “chracter actor” ceases to be anything but a major compliment. There’s another old cliche that says there are no small parts, only small actors. Giamatti proves that true in everything he’s in! He manages to fill these small parts with the kind of depth minor characters seldom have in movies but always have in real life. When Giamatti does one of these characters, you see a person there, not a body delivering lines. The artifice of a film falls away for a moment when you get to watch actors do this, and for a moment, you forget you’re seeing a movie.

I can’t get enough of Giamatti. But this is not a very good film 5/10.

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