There’s more than one kind of happily ever after! As some fans know, the 1997 romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding originally had a different ending. In that version of the script, Julianne (Julia Roberts) still failed to derail Michael and Kimmy’s wedding, but instead of dancing with her editor and confidant George (Rupert Everett), she met a potential new love interest (John Corbett).
Entertainment Weekly spoke with director P.J. Hogan about why the ending was changed in an interview for the magazine’s Untold Stories issue. During their chat, posted on Friday, March 31, Hogan said test audiences hated the final scene as it was originally written — and they weren’t too fond of Julianne, either.
“They wanted her dead,” he told EW of Roberts’ character, who goes to great lengths in the film to break up Michael (Dermot Mulroney) and Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). “They just couldn’t understand her motives.”
Hogan said the studio was worried about Roberts’ alter-ego ending up “alone and unhappy.” So they decided on a third option: having her find comfort with her gay BFF George.
“That one scene somehow gave the audience permission to forgive Julianne,” Hogan told EW of George surprising her at the wedding after Michael chooses to marry Kimmy. “Those last five minutes really made the whole movie work.”
Roberts, for her part, would have changed at least one other thing about the film — her wardrobe. In an interview for Access Hollywood in 2013, Mulroney asked what advice she would give her former self, to which she replied, “Put on a full T-shirt for a scene that’s going to last for about 25 minutes of the movie!”
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