movies

My Best Friend's Wedding originally had a completely different ending and... wow.

It’s a story about the one that got away.

The 1997 hit movie My Best Friend’s Wedding – which revived the career of Julia Roberts – was almost a dud, with test audiences hating her character Jules so much by the end they wanted her to die.

A pretty harsh reaction to someone who was just trying to win the love of her life back.

In the movie Jules learns that her ex Michael – played by Dermot Mulroney – is engaged to be married to loveable Kimmy – played by Cameron Diaz – forcing her to realise she’s in love with him. In sheer desperation, she flies to Chicago seemingly to attend the wedding only to spend most of her time trying to sabotage Michael and Kimmy’s relationship.

The ending that almost wasn't. Image: My Best Friend's Wedding, TriStar Pictures

Director P.J. Hogan recently told Entertainment Weekly that the original version of the film was a little different, with Rupert Everett's gay best friend character George a much more minor character and a completely different ending.

But test audiences hated it.

"They wanted her dead. They just couldn't understand her motives," Hogan told Entertainment Weekly.

The original ending didn't include the dance scene with George, but instead showed Jules meeting a new love interest played by Sex and the City's John Corbett. But the ending left audiences with a sour taste in their mouths due to the unforgivable behaviour of Jules as she tried to break up the happy couple.

The original ending showing Sex and the City's John Corbett playing a new love interest to the mischevious Jules. Image: My Best Friend's Wedding, TriStar Pictures
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So eight months after filming wrapped, the cast was called back to film additional scenes with George and Everett and Roberts filmed the new ending that saved the film.

"[TriStar Pictures were] very nervous because we were making a Julia Roberts film and they couldn't have [America's sweetheart] end up alone and unhappy," P.J. recalled. "We expanded George [Rupert Everett's] character. Every time Julianne talked to him, she'd explain why she was doing these terrible things; he's her conscience throughout."

And it worked.

The movie ended up being a box office smash, opening at number two and being nominated for an Oscar and three Golden Globes.

The Binge: Our Big Little Lies debrief. Article continues after this podcast clip. Post continues... 

"It would have been such a downer of an ending if George hadn’t shown up," the Muriel's Wedding filmmaker admitted.

"That one scene somehow gave the audience permission to forgive Julianne. Those last five minutes really made the whole movie work."

And sure, it's hard to like or even love her character, but by adding that final scene and by increasing the role of Rupert Everett overall, it allowed audiences to sympathise with her character more. They finally forgave her for her dubious behaviour, as Michael and Kimmy do.

Which movie ending has disappointed you the most? Answer in the comment section below.

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