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My Best Friend's Wedding: Special Edition

Julia Roberts has been in a string of hit romantic comedies in recent years, but despite the box-office receipts, most of them haven't been great. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) is probably the best of the bunch — it's goofy without being calculatedly wacky and sweet without being syrupy. Roberts stars as New York food critic Julianne "Jules" Potter, a self-sufficient gal who doesn't really go in for all that "love" stuff. At least, she doesn't until she finds out her best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) is about to marry someone else. Faster than you can say "I do," Jules is on a plane to Chicago, racking her brain to come up with a way to break up the wedding and win Michael back from his cute-as-a-button fiancé Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). What follows is a series of ill-conceived schemes that all end up backfiring, much to Julianne's dismay. It takes some clear-headed advice — and a sing-along or two — from her witty, urbane friend/editor/fake fiancé George (Rupert Everett, in a hilarious scene-stealing performance) to help Jules see the light. Directed with a light, quirky touch by Australian P.J. Hogan (Muriel's Wedding), My Best Friend's Wedding is one of the movies — like Erin Brockovich and Mystic Pizza — that makes Roberts accessible and real; it's much easier to sympathize with her when she's falling on her face than when she's winning the guy without lifting a finger. It's also a fun, funny romantic comedy that, despite a few weaknesses (some trite patches in the script, Mulroney's somewhat dull Michael), is entertaining from start to finish. Columbia TriStar does it proud with this special edition release, which replaces their previous, bare-bones disc. Instead of a commentary track, the SE DVD offers two "making-of" featurettes from 1997: "Unveiled: My Best Friend's Wedding" (15 min.) and "On the Set: My Best Friend's Wedding" (20 min.), a special that originally aired on HBO. Both feature interviews with the cast, director Hogan, producer Jerry Zucker, and writer Ron Bass, and offer decent behind-the-scenes footage (including bits from the original ending and one unintentional Roberts pratfall that didn't make it into the movie). The extras list continues with "Wedding Do's and Don'ts" (a five-minute featurette that pairs silent movie clips with narration about planning a wedding), "My Best Friend's Wedding Album" (location footage with pop-up trivia factoids), the "Say a Little Prayer Sing-Along" (the famous scene accompanied by karaoke-style lyrics), filmographies, trailers for other Columbia TriStar DVDs, printed production notes, and DVD-ROM features, including a quiz and screen-savers. The anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) is pristine (the full-screen version from the older disc is thankfully gone), and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is strong. Other audio options include 2.0 English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese tracks, plus English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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