Why “The Wedding Planner” makes me twitch

I’m not opposed to the occasional RomCom, and I’ve watched “The Wedding Planner” before. But two days ago, I caught some of it on cable again.

I was cringing out loud this time (imagine noises of disgust, etc.).

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’m going to spoil the plot. That’s not so you’ll stop reading – I want you to keep going so you don’t have to watch this sugar coated tripe.

The premise is that a wedding planner named Mary meets a doctor named Steve and they have one magical accidental date together (during which nothing actually happens, but a lot of significant glances are exchanged).

And then she meets her next clients, who are happily engaged couple Fran and Steve – the same Steve she met before. Bummer.

In the meantime, her well-meaning dad tries to arrange a marriage between her and a nice, yet somewhat hapless guy named Massimo.

Throw in a neurotic best friend and a quirky soundtrack and cutesy, sugary chaos ensues.

The setup isn’t awful (it isn’t Oscar material, either, but I’ll let that go for the moment considering the genre). It’s what the screenwriters then do with the setup that is unconscionable.

a) Steve of course eventually makes a pass at Mary. She declines, however, we’re supposed to still like Steve. (It was at this point I began to actually hate Steve.) This one scene alone makes him an unacceptable mate.

b) In the meantime, Mary finally says yes to Massimo’s repeated proposals, on the basis that he’s a good man, but not because she loves him. I’ll address this later.

c) Fran and Steve mutually break up on the day of their wedding, the writers’ attempt at clearing Steve of being the bad guy (because now he hasn’t dumped her at the altar). However, he’s still a bad guy, because he never came clean about making a pass at their wedding coordinator.

d) Mary decides on the same day to not to through with marrying Massimo. Fine. She doesn’t love him, it makes sense.

e) But then she and Steve get together. And live happily ever after. And that’s a problem. Why? Because Mary had been engaged before, and it turned out her fiance was still in love with and pursuing his high school girlfriend. Sound familiar? Steve pursued Mary while engaged to another woman.

Why does Mary not have a problem with this?

Why?

Is it because when Steve comes and finds her in the park, an orchestra that’s hiding in the bushes starts to play? Because after the credits rolled, I guarantee that orchestra went home. And Steve was still a jerk masquerading as a nice guy.

So what should Mary have done instead?

She should’ve dropped Steve like a rock. Then, she should’ve gotten to know Massimo better. Yes, if you’ve seen it, you know he’s a goober. But the writers made the mistake of developing his character and making him likeable. He also had a history with her family, who knew him well enough to approve of him (and that kind of thing is really important – it’s like a built-in background check).

And hey, if after awhile she realized that Massimo wasn’t going to work out, no problem. Mary still has lots of options.

But the truth is that waiting around for a perfect guy or a perfect girl is not going to get you anywhere. What you need is the perfect one for you, and that person will not be perfect – but then, neither are you. And any Steves who appear to be perfect are often just good at hiding their flaws.

In short, this movie is an exercise in what not to do with your love life. It boggles my mind.

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind this afternoon. Happy pre-Friday, and to my fellow NaNoWriMo-ers, best wishes for a distraction free, idea filled writing session today.

No. Just...no.

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