My Best Friend's Wedding producers re-shot ending over much-hated character

Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding. Photo / Supplied
Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding. Photo / Supplied

My Best Friend's Wedding director P.J Hogan reflected on just how close his romantic comedy came to being box office poison on its 20th anniversary.

The Australian 54-year-old was forced to reshoot the Chicago-set flick's ending after test audiences hated Julia Roberts' conniving groom-stealer Julianne Potter, the Daily Mail reports.

"They wanted her dead," Hogan - who last penned The Dressmaker in 2015 - admitted to Entertainment Weekly. "They just couldn't understand her motives."

In the original conclusion, the Manhattan restaurant critic met a new man (played by Northern Exposure's John Corbett) after failing to seduce Michael O'Neal (Dermot Mulroney).

Ironically, Sarah Jessica Parker turned down the role of Julianne for HBO's Sex and the City, which later featured Corbett as her furniture-designing fiancé.

"[TriStar Pictures was] 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.

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"We expanded [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."

In the reshot ending, Jules' charismatic gay friend and editor George Downes surprised her with a dance during the reception.

"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."

My Best Friend's Wedding amassed US $299.3M (from a $38M budget) and earned one Oscar nod and three Golden Globe nominations.

- Daily Mail

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