My Best Friend's Wedding

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Details At A Glance

Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) 1-Dolby Digital City
Running Time 101 minutes Commentary Tracks None
RSDL/Flipper No/No Other Extras None
Region 4    
Distributor Columbia Tristar    
RRP $34.95    

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles English 

Plot Synopsis

    My Best Friend's Wedding is the story of Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts), Michael O'Neil (Dermot Mulroney) and Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz). Julianne is a food critic, Michael is a sports writer and Kimmy is studying to be an architect.
In the past, Julianne and Michael were romantically involved, and they made a pact whereby if neither of them were married by the time they reached the age of 28, they would marry each other. Just prior to Julianne's 28th birthday, Michael rings her in a state of excitement to inform her that he is about to marry Kimmy, whom he has only recently met.

    Julianne decides that this is quite unacceptable, and she sets her mind to breaking up the match, enlisting the reluctant help of her gay editor, George Downes (Rupert Everett). Rupert is excellent in his role, and very funny at times. His performance is the highlight of the movie - bordering on stealing the show.

    Julianne's attempts at breaking the happy couple apart gradually escalate as none of them seem to work, generally backfiring and causing the couple to draw closer together. Her deeds get more and more despicable, and occasionally funny, such as when she pretends to be engaged to George. This sequence, however, quickly degenerates into a ill-conceived musical number which has been mysteriously inserted into the storyline for no apparent reason other than to take up movie time.

    Julianne finally manages to get the couple to break up about two-thirds of the way into the movie, but then regrets what she has done, and so spends the last third of the movie trying to get them back together again. I personally found it hard to feel any sympathy for Julianne despite the movie trying almightily hard to make us feel sorry for her - she has just spent 60 minutes being a vile human being and then we are meant to feel sorry for her? I don't think so.

    So, who gets to marry Michael? Julianne or Kimmy? Does Julianne succeed in getting Kimmy and Michael back together? Does Michael realize that he really loves Julianne and marry her? Who shot Mr Burns?

    You'll have to watch it to see how they manage to salvage a Hollywood happy ending out of this seemingly impossible scenario. Be warned, however, that you'll have to sit through a barrage of product placement (United Airlines, Chicago Hilton, Chicago Tribune, Cinzano, The Drake Hotel, Apple Powerbook, Marlboro, and Ronsley were the ones that were the most irritating) and a long pro-smoking advertisement by Julia Roberts to find out.

    As a small aside, Harry Shearer, of The Simpsons fame, has a small cameo role towards the end of the movie which is worthwhile watching for.

Transfer Quality


    This is a virtually perfect Columbia Tristar DVD transfer with almost nothing to complain about. The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was crystal clear and razor sharp at all times. Shadow detail was excellent, and no low level noise was apparent. The majority of this movie takes place in brightly lit areas, which appear to be easier to encode than dark scenes. Nonetheless, there was nothing to complain about at all in the clarity of the transfer.

    The colour was perfectly rendered in this transfer. In particular, bright colours were vibrant, and skin tones were absolutely spot-on with no over or undersaturation at all at any time.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. No film-to-video artefacts were seen. In particular, there were a number of scenes which  depicted visuals that are notoriously prone to aliasing, and they were all perfectly transferred. For example, at the start of Chapter 5, there are a number of wide panning shots of a baseball stadium, none of which exhibit significant aliasing. Later on in the movie, there is a moving shot of skyscrapers, another type of shot which is notoriously prone to aliasing. Once again, there is virtually no aliasing visible. Film artefacts were essentially non-existent. I did notice two very minimal skips in the video stream; at 58:48 and 84:05 but these were very subtle and hardly noticeable at all.

    This is a reference level video transfer, and indeed I would venture to say that this video transfer is the best one I have seen to date in Region 4.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD. The default audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 channel, surround encoded. You all know my opinion of having this as the default audio stream. I was hopeful that Columbia had changed to a 5.1 default when the initial trailers came on (see Extras) as these defaulted to 5.1 sound, but when the movie proper started, the soundtrack reverted to the 2.0 audio stream. Also present on the disc was a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, which is the one that I listened to, and a 5.1 soundtrack in French.

    Dialogue was almost always completely clear and intelligible, except for the odd sentence here and there. The opening sequence was not very well ADR processed, as it was quite clearly not quite in sync at times, but this was not an issue during the movie itself.

    The musical score was often present, particularly towards the latter half of the movie, and generally suited the on-screen action. A lot of well-known up tempo and romantic songs of the 60s and 70s were used in the soundtrack, as well as original music by James Newton Howard. The music was fun to listen to - most apt for a movie about a wedding.

     The surround channels were used for music, and for some ambience. Early on in the movie, the soundtrack had a somewhat up front and centre feel to it, but the surround presence improved markedly in the latter half of the movie, with the surrounds active throughout the majority of the second half. A scene which is particularly notable in this regard is the scene within the church which had an excellent surround presence about it.

    The .1 channel was used to enhance the music. It only had a light workout during this movie.


    The main extra on this DVD is the theatrical trailer, presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The trailer looked odd at some points, as if some anamorphic compression was being used, but fine at other points.

    The best extra on this DVD (and it's not really an extra) is to be found at the start of the movie, where the Sony Pictures DVC Centre logo is displayed in a 4:3 aspect and with a 5.1 soundtrack. This is the first disc I have ever seen from Columbia Tristar with this logo on it, and this logo really makes you sit up and take notice. Remember the feeling when you saw the THX logo for the first time with the swirling audio? This one is better. Looking at the quality of the logo, you can see why Columbia Tristar DVDs are all so good.

    Not only that, but we also get the Dolby Digital City trailer, once again displayed in a 4:3 aspect ratio and with a 5.1 soundtrack.

    To access these trailers before the movie, you appear to need to start the movie via the menu, rather than with the Play button which simply takes you to the start of the movie. Speaking of the menu, the menu screen is not 16x9 enhanced, but this is a minor point.


    My Best Friend's Wedding is a very lightweight romantic comedy, frequently degenerating to the farcical or nauseously syrupy-sweet level. Julia Roberts once again plays Julia Roberts - smile at the camera and then giggle. Cameron Diaz' character is so syrupy-sweet that she will make you feel sick. Rupert Everett saves this otherwise very ordinary romantic comedy and makes it watchable whenever he is on-screen.

    The video quality is reference quality, and the best example of DVD I have seen to date.

    The audio quality tended to be up front and centre early on in the movie, but improved in its ambience later on in the movie. I would still classify this as a good soundtrack with minimal problems.

    The inclusion of the Sony Pictures DVC Centre logo and the Dolby Digital City trailer are a wonderful unexpected bonus. This disc is worth looking at for the impact of these alone, and if you actually like this movie, or know someone that likes this movie, then even better.

Ratings (out of 5)


Michael Demtschyna
25th November 1998

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer