"Shy tendrils of russet pleasure
began their unbidden journey..."
RING RING RING
"IT IS NOT. GOING. WELL!!!"
My Best Friend's Wedding came out in 1997 (yes we celebrated its 20th last year) so this joke about getting a cell phone call in a quiet setting was actually pretty fresh when they trotted it out here as the romantically diabolical Julianne (Julia Roberts) calls her gay bestie George (Rupert Everett) mid rom-com chase to get some much-needed straight talk from a gay man.
The film reliance on now twenty-year-old technologies that were fresh at the time -- email sabotage! -- is adorably dated now, but PJ Hogan really leans into it and finds clever uses for cell phones throughout; the final scene where Rupert's call IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE WEDDING is now a classic as far as I am concerned...
"But by god there'll be dancing."
But I love the scene where she calls him at this ridiculous poetry reading because it's one of just two glimpses we get of George's life away from Julianne - he is apparently the type of man who will go to a bookstore to hear Harry Shearer talk about "shy tendrils of russet pleasure" here, and a little earlier there's the scene where Julianne calls his house mid-fancy-dinner and leaves (dated technology alert!) a screaming message on his answering machine...
... where we're given the quickest glimpse of his boyfriend...
Not bad, George! Not bad at all.
Back to the bookstore though: I love that there is a copy of How to Dress Well perched on his shoulder there. George is such a fancy man. Circa 1997 anyway. Anyway I remember watching this movie in 1997 and lapping up all of these minuscule details about George's life - I know it seems kind of crazy now but a gay character in a great big Julia Roberts mainstream rom-com really was still pretty damn novel at the time. The trope of "The Gay Best Friend" wore out its welcome fairly quickly, but it was a necessary step to inclusion. Gay Men as Relationship Experts? Okay! Sure!
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