In the hallowed world of romantic comedies, there are two kinds of films: your standard, person-A-and-person-B-fall-in-love-despite-various-hijinks, and Jennifer Lopez movies. A Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy features many of the same tropes as the former category, but they also star Jennifer Lopez, which alone makes them singular. Her characters are often too busy for love; immaculately coiffed, for one reason or another; and meet their soulmates under extraordinary circumstances.
In Maid in Manhattan, she falls for a politician staying at the hotel where she is (you guessed it) a housekeeper. In The Back-Up Plan, she falls for the love of her life shortly after undergoing artificial insemination to have a kid on her own. And in The Wedding Planner, the most holy of J.Lo rom-coms, she is (again, you guessed it) a wedding planner who breaks the cardinal rule of wedding planning: do not fall in love with the groom. I suppose the second most-important rule is to try to talk the couple out of a cash bar.
Yet Matthew McConaughey, a man who is lucky to have shared screen time with J.Lo as the object of her wedding planner’s affection, seemingly does not agree! On a recent Watch What Happens Live! appearance, hard-hitting journalist Andy Cohen asked the actor to rank three romantic comedies from best to worst. The options: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, and The Wedding Planner.
In response, McConaughey put How to Lose a Guy at the top of the list, ostensibly because it is what he called “great mailbox money.” In layman’s terms, that’s a residual check: “It is always on and there’s always this great little check that shows up in the mail from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” he quipped. The Kate Hudson vehicle is also the single greatest movie about the journalism industry ever made (do not @ me, All the President’s Men). I am sure intrepid Andie Anderson, How-To Girl, went on to write about politics. Maybe she worked at Teen Vogue!
But McConaughey then ranked Failure to Launch second; admittedly, I have never seen it so I have zero opinion on the matter. But! He ranked The Wedding Planner last, and neither Cohen nor Anne Hathaway pressed him for a reason.
Is The Wedding Planner a perfect movie? Yes, it is. Is it about a woman who falls in love with a man who is already spoken-for, and continues to fall for him despite her better judgment? Also yes, but I posit, a good number of romantic comedies are! Is Lopez cast inexplicably as a Sicilian woman when the plot could have worked just fine with an overbearing Latino father whose sole focus is marrying his daughter off? Yes, absolutely, and I speak from personal experience. Would Maria have been perfectly happy with a babyfaced Justin Chambers cooking her mac and cheese every night? I argue, yes.
But in the wise words of Justin Chambers’s Massimo, love is just love. And I love The Wedding Planner. Its plot seems ripped from a “Page Six” headline; it all but justifies cheating; and every time Judy Greer accuses J.Lo of being a workaholic who hasn’t been on a date in two years, I feel personally attacked. Yet if an ambitious San Francisco wedding planner can find love in the height of the web boom, perhaps I can, too. And perhaps McConaughey knows that Maria would have dumped Steve, started her own planning agency, and rode off into the sunset with Judy Greer. That is, of course, how all rom-coms should ultimately end. Judy Greer deserves no less.