I Watched ‘My Best Friend's Wedding’ for the First Time Ever, and Michael Is Seriously Problematic
Yes, I know. You’re probably thinking: “Who is this person who waited more than two decades to see one of the greatest rom coms of all time?”
To be fair, I was just five years old when My Best Friend’s Wedding was released, and it was only recently, as I browsed through the romance titles on Amazon Prime, that I stumbled upon this ‘90s title. Considering all the positive reviews from critics, I figured it must be worth watching, and so I gave it a shot.
For those who’ve yet to hop on this bandwagon, My Best Friend’s Wedding follows Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts), a young food critic who discovers that she’s actually in love with her best friend, Michael O'Neal (Dermot Mulroney). The only problem? Michael has plans to get married to someone else in just five days, which means that Julianne could lose her chance to be with him forever. Can she stop this wedding in its tracks and get what she wants the most?
Fast forward one hour and 45 minutes, and guys, I felt so much frustration watching this film. I did appreciate the humor, but TBH, I spent a good amount of time glaring at the screen because I just couldn’t get over Jules’s toxic behavior (did she really have to force her best friend to play her fiancé?). However, Jules’s narcissism wasn’t the only thing that bothered me. Her dream guy, Michael, also had some serious issues, and I feel like this part is often overlooked because of Jules’s actions. So move over, Jules (enough has been said about your character ). Here are five reasons Michael’s character is problematic.
1. He’s willing to let Kimmy sacrifice her future to pursue his own career
It’s admirable that Kimmy (Cameron Diaz) wants to support her partner’s career endeavors, but what’s heartbreaking is that Michael doesn’t show that same level of support for her. At just 20 years old (let that sink in…), Kimmy is all too happy to drop out of school and follow her husband abroad as he works as a sports writer. But when she speaks up about having second thoughts, Michael blows up and manipulates her into thinking that she’s the bad guy. Um. What?
2. His reaction to seeing his BFF half-naked is seriously inappropriate
If you recall, there’s one scene in the film where Michael accidentally walks in on Julianne as she’s changing in her hotel room, but when he sees her in her underwear, he doesn’t even flinch. Without so much as an apology, Michael stands there and continues to enjoy the view, teasing that he’s “already seen her more naked.” Then before he heads back out, he says that she looks “really good without her clothes on.”
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but if a groom-to-be casually walks in on his half-naked BFF and his first instinct is to flirt, then it’s probably a sign that this guy isn’t ready to commit to a marriage. I mean, if he and Kimmy agree to have an open relationship, then that’s a different story. But in this case, he’s actively leading another woman on as he prepares to tie the knot with someone who’s willing to sacrifice her career and education for him. Talk about twisted...
3. Michael is more honest with Jules than with his own fiancée
As much as I couldn’t stand Jules’s selfish behavior and Michael’s inappropriate flirty remarks, I’ll admit, this scene gave me all the feels. The shared vulnerability. The way that Jules and Michael looked at each other. Jules’s reaction when Michael called her the “woman in his life.” It was like watching a bittersweet Hallmark romance. But guys, I just couldn’t shake the fact that this was all happening right before Michael’s wedding.
In this scene, he confesses that he’s been thinking a lot about Jules and mentions that this could be their last moment alone together. Clearly, this was his way of giving Jules an opportunity to open up about how she felt, and I was so convinced that she’d speak up (especially considering the lengths she’d already gone to ruin his wedding). But surprisingly, she didn’t have the courage to say how she truly felt.
Still, amazing chemistry aside, this is not the best space for anyone to be in when they’re about to marry the person they call the love of their life. Michael openly flirted with Jules, then poured his heart out to her about the doubts he had regarding his wedding. I know that Jules is his best friend and all, but Jules was not the one who needed to hear this. If Michael truly loved and respected his fiancée, then he would’ve had the decency to be honest with Kimmy about how he was feeling.
4. He sucked Kimberly's wedding ring off Julianne's finger
Pop quiz: If you were about to marry someone and you saw that the engagement ring was stuck on your best friend’s finger, would you a) Google safe hacks for removing tight rings, b) lather it with butter and hope for the best or c) seductively suck it from their finger? Michael apparently opted for the third option and, guys, the sexual tension in that scene was thick enough to slice with a knife. It’s worth noting that he doesn’t even bother to question Jules about why she tried this ring on in the first place, and though I understand that he was feeling melancholy about Kimmy, his reaction was still grossly inappropriate.
5. His first dance with his new bride is to a special song that he shares with Julianne
It was awkward enough that both Michael and Kimmy agreed to let Jules, the ultimate saboteur, attend their ceremony. But when Jules offered to “lend” them the same special song that she shares with Michael, I was stunned. I mean, really? Did Michael not feel awkward at all about this, considering that Jules had confessed her love for him mere hours before the wedding? Did he not consider how his memories with Jules might prevent him from creating a new, meaningful one with his wife? Even if this was meant as a kind gesture, it just doesn’t seem like the best idea for a groom to use a “special song” that represents their bond with someone else.
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