My Best Friend's Wife (2001) Poster

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2.5 stars
mweston17 April 2002
Two childhood best friends grow up and are still best friends at age 30, but now are both married, one to his first girlfriend. Their lives have become far more boring than they would like, and what were once jokes about wife swapping begin to be taken seriously, first by the men and eventually by the women, as a last act of wildness before becoming grownups.

The comedy works fairly well, but the actors are not good enough to make the premise believable or to carry off the dramatic scenes. To the writers' credit, the complications that ensue are not simply the obvious ones. The film has high production values and it tied for the audience award at Cinequest (the San Jose, CA film festival) for best dramatic feature, so perhaps it has a chance of getting distribution. I saw it on 3/2/2002.
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Engaging but rough edges
vivpickle9 April 2003
Got a preview of this last night. Enjoyed it. Was definitely engaging and kept me wondering how it would pan out in the end. Acting was a bit uneven from some of the actors-- especially the wives. Their performances weren't very convincing. John Stamos did a fine job-- maybe b/c his character wasn't too far of a stretch??? Daniel London could have been a bit stronger... came across as whiny at times... and still couldn't believe that he and Stamos would have remained so tight after all that time... the connections between the couples didn't seem "close enough" for them to consider what they were considering.

Dialog was well written-- tho' a little stilted on delivery... definitely several laugh out loud moments. Extraneous characters were just that... very extraneous and didn't offer too much value (esp. the two guys from the office... what WERE they doing in this film???)... I know it's an independent film, but thought the editing was a bit chopping and the sound quality was just fair... still... with all that taken into account, it was a good flick-- thought provoking, stereotype reinforcing to some extent (good? bad?) and one that would DEFINITELY lead to some very lively discussion afterwards, esp. if you see it in mixed company (such as with your best friend and his/her hottie husband/wife).
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You shouldn't be allowed to make a sex comedy if you don't know the difference between Playboy and Penthouse
MBunge25 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Have you ever heard the phrase "They're not laughing with you. They're laughing at you"? That pretty much describes this movie. It will provoke laughter. Not because it's successful at being intentionally funny, but because it's so unsuccessful at every blessed thing it tries to do. I do have to give it credit for giving an early warning to all viewers by having the opening credits list a "Special appearance by Carol Alt". Carol Alt, for pete's sake! How mentally and culturally out of it do you have to be to think a Carol Alt cameo deserves a mention in your opening credits? The producers, writers and director of My Best Friend's Wife might just as well have received one communal credit as "A bunch of guys who don't know what the hell they're doing".

The story opens in 1970s suburban New Jersey with two boys. Steve is sex obsessed and Eric can't get out of his own head long enough to let sex or anything else inside. And again, the movie gives you another early warning that it's going to be terrible. Young Eric is shown reading a Playboy but reads out of it the sort of sex letter found in Penthouse. How can anyone make a good sex comedy if they can't keep their skin mags straight?

After that prologue, the film jumps to the present day with Steve (John Stamos) and Eric (Daniel London) still living in suburban New Jersey. Their lives have both fallen into ruts, though Steve's the only one bothered by it. He's so bothered by it, in fact, that Steve suggests some wife swapping. Well, the movie states that Eric has been joking about the subject for years, even though that doesn't make a lick of sense for his character, and Steve's the one who finally decides to run with it. Steve's wife Claire (Tara Westwood) warms to the idea quickly. Eric's wife Ami (Meredith Salenger), however, wants nothing to do with it. Then after an evening with her emotionally abusive parents (Jessica Walter and Tony Roberts), Ami consents to the swap as long as Eric agrees to finally impregnate her.

Steve and Ami gleefully boink, while Eric can't go through with it for Claire. That causes problems, which Steve, Ami and Claire decide can only be resolved by having Eric go ahead and screw Claire, which they cajole, beg and pressure him to do. Eric gives in and they all live happily ever after. No, I'm not joking. That's how it actually ends.

In addition to stinking all around like a rotting yak corpse, My Best Friend's Wife is notably terrible for having more superfluous supporting characters than you can shake a stick at. There's Ami's parents, Steve's douchey work buddy, Eric's two douchey work buddies, Steve and Eric's longtime best friend Chuck (Bill Sage) and of course, Steve's horny boss (the specially appearing Carol Alt). If you combined all 7 of them together, you'd wind up with 3/4ths of a legitimate supporting role. The vacillate between annoying and useless and I don't know how at least 3 of them didn't get cut out of the screenplay.

The theme of this movie is about how Steve and Eric are freaked because their lives turned out to be completely normal as well as their obsession with not having has as much adventurous sex as their baby boomer predecessors. That's not a half bad premise, but how does banging your best friend's wife and having him bang your wife work as the most logical response to that situation? There's a billion other things these guys should have done, or at least tried to do, before wife swapping came up on their option menu.

And besides being plain old bad, My Best Friend's Wife is also so damn labored. The same ground is trod over and over again in scene after abbreviated scene until it feels like you're stuck in the movie Groundhog Day.

Meredith Salenger does a nice job and is nice to look at and there are two scenes in a strip club, so at least this movie has some nudity. Everything else is a mess you can sarcastically mock but not enjoy. Even if my best friend were married to a 100 year old toothless leper, I'd rather have sex with her than watch this thing again.
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Just fine
ikimono28 April 2002
I enjoyed this film, and it did actually make me think about relationships, specifically monogamy and such. The writing and direction are clever at times, and the performances are uniformly efficient at telling the story. That's the best and worst I can say about it, meaning nothing was really stand-out, but nothing was *wrong* per se, either.
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Mildly Interesting Take On The Subject...
whynot28 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Picked up for $2.99 in the 'previously viewed' bin, I'd summarize this as, 'not as good as hoped, but better than feared'.

'My Best Friend's Wife/Grownups' was engaging enough. Personally, I find the topic intriguing and have an inherent interest in seeing how different treatments. This movie really isn't comedic, rather, I'd say perhaps 'romantically melodramatic in a somewhat witty way'. I found the characters to be reasonably believable. The plot turns and some of the dialog, seemed somewhat less so. Personally, I thought that directly tying Steve's interest to the loss of the move to San Francisco, and Amy's interest to a direct trade for starting a family, as a bit of an unnecessary stretch. Those aspects of the plot just seemed to be a 'too obvious' screenwriter's device to get past the 'first they said no, now they need to say yes' problem.

As such, my capsule review would be: "A worthwhile rental for those with a bit of interest in the topic, probably not strong enough to interest anyone who doesn't.'
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A definite must see!
cyberdazed128 May 2006
John Stamos did a great job, but can't say that about the rest of the cast. The movie is thought provoking with a load of laughs. Made me love Stamos' acting so much because of the funny lines he delivered with an absolute straight and serious face. I had to pause many times just so I could hear the movie through my own laughter! The best parts of the movie are when Stamos is trying to convince his wife - he actually goes all out to make his point across. That took guts on his character. And the second one, was when Stamos was stating the DOs and Don''ts to his friend and wives- his facial gestures and body language in this scene makes the whole movie worthwhile.

It was a sad pain to watch Daniel London. He almost made me turn the movie off. Very whiny and sissy. But he does play a very crucial role. I recommend to watch this either by yourself or with a very happy crowd if you are throwing a friends get together.
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