4.5

Julianne - Julia Roberts - a successful writer of restaurant guides, doesn`t have a love in her life at the moment, but she has two close male friends. One is her gay editor, George, - Rupert Everett; the other is Mike - Dermot Mulroney, a sports writer with whom she had a brief affair some years earlier, before they decided they were wrong for one another...but when Mike calls Jules to let her know he`s fallen in love with 20-year-old heiress Kimmy - Cameron Diaz - and plans to marry her in six days, she greets the news with a mixture of horror and incredulity, and heads for Chicago, determined to break up the romance and have Mike for herself.

For his American debut, PJ Hogan is dealing with a wedding again, and indeed several strands from Muriel`s Wedding crop up in his new film. Ronald Basss screenplay is based on a rather nasty premise: for a while we`re expected to go along with the jealous Jules` spiteful plans to wreck her friend`s romance; but gradually Hogan turns the premise on it`s head, and far from being a conventional romantic comedy, the film is transformed into something rather more biting and a lot more interesting. There are some wonderfully funny scenes, most of them involving Everett`s George as he enthusiastically plays the role of Jules` lover to make Mike jealous - a scene in which he leads an entire restaurant in a spirited rendition of I Say A Little Prayer is a showstopper.

Julia Roberts isn't my favourite actor, but she does a good job here; Dermot Mulroney is little more than a sex object; but Everett and Diaz are dazzling, and the engaging supporting cast includes Rachel Griffiths as a singing bridesmaid. My Best Friend`s Wedding is an unexpected delight.