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Monday
Mar 27 2017

Beauty vs Beast: My Fiancée's Best Friend

Jason fromMNPPhere for another round of "Beauty vs Beast."I was doing my umpteenth (literally,my umpteenth) post onMuriel's Weddingover at my own site this past week when I realized that I really do not give enough attention and affection to director PJ Hogan's masterful follow-up film,1997's deliciously cold-blooded Julia Roberts rom-comMy Best Friend's Wedding.Which turns 20 in June!That's nuts!

On the page the character that Julia plays is a selfish and manipulative monster,but Roberts pushes the star wattage to full-tilt (has her hair ever been bigger and bouncier?) and charms us even as she's being despicable.(God do I understand and empathize with Jules,much to my horror.) Meanwhile Cameron Diaz,one year beforeThere's Something About Mary,gave her own off-the-charts effervescence to the woman we were supposed to,but it was impossible to,hate.Take your corners...

PREVIOUSLYWe tackled Fake News and the folks who make and fight it withourBroadcast Newspolllast week - y'all came down on the side of truth of the Albert Brooks sweaty sort with 64% of your vote.AskedMarco:

"Is the film on either man's side?Aaron is infinitely smarter and more genuine than Tom,and in a fair world his talent and knowledge would win him the news anchor job ahead of his more traditionally handsome and charismatic colleague.But he's also,to quote Tom,a prick (in a great way),supercillious,arrogant,and very needy.When he informed on Tom's fake tears during the date rape report,it seemed less of a moral stance and more of a desire to torpedo his relationship with Jane after she spurned his own interests."

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Reader Comments (28)

A movie that has aged much better to the often compared Pretty Woman if you ask me.The guilty pleasure romantic comedy of that decade.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

Agree Tony T,much better than Pretty Woman.

No one makes you like an unlikable character better than Julia Roberts.Very difficult to pull off and she does it multiple times.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterAM

This is what I mean by what happened to rom/coms,lude,crude and offensive now,smart,funny and moral then,every person here is in sync to the rhythm of the story.

I often consider putting both actresses in my 1997 line ups.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

I've never liked Cameron Diaz so this was EZ.Jules all the way.Plus she *is* sympathetic.No for real!Watch it again.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterRob

One of Julia's best performances and yet I found myself voting for Kimmy.Jules,while played beautifully,makes some awful,awful choices.

I just saw this movie for the first time last year and I'm still stuck on how great a double feature with Young Adult would be.Mavis Gary is exactly the sociopath Jules would be if she were real.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Bitchy JR is best JR,still: Team Kimmy.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Kimmy was super cute,especially in the "singing"scene.This was the first film in which I didn't find a Julia Roberts character likable at all.

But Rupert Everett was the best of all,I seem to remember.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterGena

Nat what are your thoughts on the film and it's 1997 Oscar chances,would anyone make it on your 97 Film Bitch awards.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

It's a 90's comedy classic - not quite as good as Soapdish or Clueless,but still very rewatchable.Both Roberts and Diaz are at the top of their screwball game.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

God,I love this movie (if it wasn't Hogan's follow-up to the unbeatable Muriel's Wedding it would already be much better regarded).

While no one matches the heart that Toni Collette,Rachel Griffiths and (especially) Jeanie Drynan imbue,this is easily in my 3 favourite Julia Roberts performances.In her finest role (Closer - I get so annoyed that she and Kidman in Birth were never really in contention in 2004) she dims her star wattage almost entirely as a person almost drained by life itself.In this,she goes full sociopath,switching on full charm and DARING the viewer to root for her and her horrible decisions.

If only more movie stars would dare to establish a 'persona' and then start subverting it with their later roles...

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterKermit_The_Frog

I can relate more to Jules,but find Kimmy to be much sweeter and more sympathetic.

I guess,to generalise (and to paraphrase a line from the film Nixon),Kimmy (i.e.JFK) is who we'd like to be,but Jules (i.e.Nixon) is more like who we are (which,just to be clear,doesn't mean any of us,including Jules for that matter,are anywhere near as bad as 37th President).

PS: Thank you for quoting my contribution to the Aaron v Tom discussion,Nathaniel.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

Tough decision.These were two of the three best performances of 1997 (Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco was pretty good too).Nothing guilty about it - this is an outright classic.

Who to pick?The tie-breaker goes to Kimmy,because at least someone's chasing her.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

i'm with the women in the stadium bathroom: team kimmy!

March 27,2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

par - lol.

everyone -- i love this movie so much.easily one of the best rom-coms of the modern era.And,yes,Julia should've been Oscar nominated.

March 27,2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Jules is,unfortunately for me,too relatable.Total Team Jules.

Definitely one of the best comedies of the 90's.

March 28,2017 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Nathaniel: Can you do a Monologue Monday for that last phone call between George and Jules?

March 28,2017 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Everyone was so perfectly cast,love Jules,want to be Kimmy.Love Julia in this and Notting Hill.Cameron so model who can really act in this.

March 28,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJack

This is one of Julia's best performances.The way she combines ruthlessness with charisma is unique.You realize how awful she is all along,but you still can't help relating to her.That's a pretty nifty trick.And this is a comedy that's actually kind of a tragedy.I hate myself,but I'm Team Jules.GAWD!

March 28,2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

In love with this movie!This is Julia Roberts at her finest.Every now and then,I revisit her romantic comedy classic trifecta- Pretty Woman,Notting Hill,and this.

If it were up to me,Julia would've been in the best actress lineup instead of the eventual winner,Helen Hunt.

March 28,2017 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel

I resisted Julia Roberts for years.I didn't like Pretty Woman when it came out and wasn't that excited by any of the follow ups...until this movie when I finally "got"Julia Roberts.I've been a fan ever since.

March 28,2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

the movie that confirmed the impact that Diaz made in "The Mask".I'm quite surprised AMPAS did fail to nominate her yet,despite being deserving in "My Best Friend's Wedding","Very Bad Things","There's something about Mary"(she won NYFCC) and "Vanilla Sky",off the top of my head.She even stole the whole "Charlie's Angels"show,in my opinion,in both entries...but a lot of misfires had dragged her out of the A-List status and Oscar buzz.I wonder when she's going to be offered THAT role that brings the place she deserves.

And yeah,Julia was the least interesting thing in "My Best Friend's Wedding"...Rupert also outshone her notably,and also deserved an Oscar nom...

March 29,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

Kimmy won me over when she stopped the elevator and "the show".

March 30,2017 | Unregistered CommenterFrank McCormick

Love MBFW so much!Julia is amazing in this movie and she deserved the nomination that year.Ruppert was also great,he was robbed.

March 30,2017 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Morgan

Beauty vs beast i had been watched the trailer this movie,and i doesn't watch this movie.i will just watch today..

November 11,2017 | Unregistered Commenterlow price hotels in madinah

I didn't like Pretty Woman when it came out and wasn't that excited by any of the follow ups...

The way she combines ruthlessness with charisma is unique.You realize how awful she is all along,but you still can't help relating to her...

November 18,2017 | Unregistered CommenterWebnet

The way she combines ruthlessness with charisma is unique.You realize how awful she is all along,but you still can't help relating to her...

November 18,2017 | Unregistered CommenterWebnet

amazing movie (y)

November 20,2017 | Unregistered Commenterthefashionarenastore

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