The fan-favorite movie, directed by Adam Shankman, follows Mary Fiore (Lopez), a career-driven wedding planner who’s at the top of her game. After scoring a major gig, she finds herself injured in an accident that leads her into the arms of Steve Edison (McConaughey) — who she later learns is the groom in the high-profile wedding she’s set to work.
The heartwarming film hit theaters on Super Bowl weekend in 2001 — but that didn’t deter viewers from showing up in droves and helping make The Wedding Planner a No. 1 success. Two decades later, Lopez and McConaughey virtually reunited to reminisce on their time on set.
“I love that movie,” the former American Idol judge told the True Detective alum in January 2021. “I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and tell me, you know, ‘The Wedding Planner was my favorite movie.’ After you’ve done so many films, that they bring that one up [is special].”
McConaughey echoed his former costar’s sentiment, adding that he still gets recognized for the movie “all over the world.” At the time, the Magic Mike star even predicted that there might be “a resurgence” of the romantic comedy genre in the coming years — and that Lopez might be the one to lead the charge.
“Especially after [the coronavirus pandemic] … people are going, ‘Can you go and just give me 90 minutes of escapism, of pleasure? I know the couple’s gonna get together at the end, I just want to see how.’”
The Interstellar actor went on to praise The Wedding Planner for its “lightness,” adding, “We don’t get as much of it anymore but … The Wedding Planner is buoyant for a reason. You’re dancing across the clouds and it feels a little like Saturday evening every day on set. It feels a little like Saturday when you’re watching those movies, for the entire movie, and you don’t want to feel like Monday.”
Lopez and McConaughey had undeniable chemistry, but when the film marked its 20th anniversary, Shankman revealed that the two leads weren’t his first choice — and that Minnie Driver was up for the “Get Right” singer’s role.
“I didn’t perceive [Jennifer] as a romantic comedy person; she seemed too tough to me, frankly. But my agency said, ‘You have to meet with her: She read the script and she really wants to do this,’” the filmmaker told Yahoo! Entertainment in January 2021, noting that he was “completely hypnotized” by Lopez after they were introduced.
Though he didn’t realize it at first, the Hustlers actress ended up being a perfect fit. “She was ambitious and understood everything that was girly and feminine about the movie, but at the same time recognized the engine inside of it,” Shankman continued. “There were many factors about the real-life Jennifer that really spoke to what the character was.”
The World of Dance alum, for her part, was always enchanted by the idea of a happily ever after. “Even though we’ve been through a tough year, it’s like, miracles still happen,” she told McConaughey during their January 2021 video reunion. “Love prevails. Things can go right. All of that stuff, for sure.”
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