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Section Header
My Best Friend's Wedding
1997 Promo

2000 Bootleg

Composed and Conducted by:
James Newton Howard

Labels and Dates:

Friends Records Bootleg

Also See:
Only You

Audio Clips:
Promo Album:

1. E-Mail (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

2. You Were Jealous? (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

6. The Garden Chase (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

11. Jules Makes an Entrance (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

No regular U.S. release. The December 1997 album was a 'for your consideration' promo meant for Academy voters. It originally sold for $50 at soundtrack specialty outlets. The 2000 bootleg has been more popular on the secondary market because of that addition of The Trigger Effect; this 'Friends Records' bootleg has double cover art that can also feature The Trigger Effect on the front.

  Nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

My Best Friend's Wedding

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Buy it... only if you are a James Newton Howard completist, in which case the bootleg with The Trigger Effect may be a better promo/bootleg to seek.

Avoid it... if you are only a casual fan of Howard's music, or are sickened by blatantly syrupy romantic comedy scores.

My Best Friend's Wedding: (James Newton Howard) It's a scenario in which we're absolutely sure how the film is going to resolve itself, but My Best Friend's Wedding succeeds in its ability defy those expectations. A splitting pair of college lovers decide that if they're both still single at age 28, they'll get married. The girlfriend, a famous food critic played by Julia Roberts, waits to hear from Dermot Mulroney as their birthdays approach, but when he does call her, it's to let her know that he's marrying someone else a few days before the deadline. Roberts' character, of course, sets out to sabotage the wedding, and while this plotline may sound predictable, P.J. Hogan's film isn't. The lead man's girlfriend isn't the ditzy blonde we expect Cameron Diaz to be, nor is Roberts' lead as sympathetic as we expect her to be. She gets down to some borderline criminal sabotage before we know it, and thus takes the film down a path we least expect. While deviating from the usual lines of romantic comedies that fly through the theatres all the time, the score by composer James Newton Howard plays along strictly familiar lines. It follows the comedy score standards established by Rachel Portman and Alan Silvestri without fail, and will likely make the elusive My Best Friend's Wedding score on album an item far more enticing for fans of those other composers than those who have compiled all of Howard's trademark suspense and action scores in their collections. Interestingly, recognition of Howard's work by the bodies that give out awards has been lacking through the years, and yet this somewhat anomalous entry in his career earned him both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations at a time when Hollywood was sucking up light romantic comedy music and AMPAS specifically added a "Comedy/Musical Score" category in which to house them. In that category, Howard's work here is deserving of recognition, but won't surprise or impress you in the genre.

Learn about

Howard's capabilities in the comedy genre may be largely forgotten by film score collectors, but My Best Friend's Wedding is a capable, lovely, and understated score. It is indeed a cross between the rhythmic moments of Rachel Portman's Only You and Alan Silvestri's What Women Want, with the occasional prancing rhythms of the former (performed, of course by jubilant woodwinds) and the conservative thematic structure and synthetic chorus of the latter. This music is as unoffensive as possible, venturing out of the soft layers of alternating string and woodwind notes to spice up a few cues with more ambitious, neoclassical, wedding-inspired cues. The jealousy cue ("Crazy Jealous" or "You Were Jealous," depending on what album you have) is marked by a gorgeous combination of majestic orchestral theme, light synth effects and choir, while the "E-mail" cue kicks up the Portman-like rhythm of deviance; despite the serious connotations that the latter scene (among others) involves, Howard sticks to straight innocence in his score, never allowing the film's script to completely lose the comedy genre. The "Julianne Makes an Entrance" cue kicks with a piano and chopping string rhythm mirrored in Portman's Addicted to Love. Thematically, there are some pleasantly romantic moments in My Best Friend's Wedding; the choral effects in particular set this score apart, but its soft nature (and inherently lower recording volume) makes it somewhat predictable and potentially boring, even in it's short length. The score was only released at the time of the film's release by Howard in the form of a "for your consideration" promo, and it made the usual rounds in the secondary market for about $50. A few years later, the score jumped (with the volume issues resolved) to the bootleg market, with the suite from the commercial album for My Best Friend's Wedding added to the end, as well as Howard's electronically-inclined music for The Trigger Effect (not a good listening combination) and a few bonus cues from other Howard scores. On its own, the 24 minutes of My Best Friend's Wedding on the original promo will be a pleasant surprise for collectors of the composer, but nothing more than that. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For James Newton Howard reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.35 (in 56 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.34 (in 62,065 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.05 Stars
Smart Average: 3 Stars*
***** 43 
**** 36 
*** 43 
** 41 
* 35 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.

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 Track Listings (1997 Promo): Total Time: 24:22

• 1. E-Mail (3:13)
• 2. You Were Jealous? (3:13)
• 3. Main Titles (1:10)
• 4. Michael's Bad News (1:04)
• 5. Marry Me! (2:04)
• 6. The Garden Chase (1:07)
• 7. Jules' Confession (2:35)
• 8. The Set Up (2:05)
• 9. Do You Love Him? (1:59)
• 10. Jules Makes the Call (0:53)
• 11. Jules Makes an Entrance (0:51)
• 12. Tell Him You Love Him (0:56)
• 13. It's Over (3:00)

 Track Listings (2000 Bootleg): Total Time: 77:23

My Best Friend's Wedding:
• 1. A Perfect Dinner (1:11)
• 2. Wedding On Sunday (0:53)
• 3. The Set Up (2:05)
• 4. Do You Really Love Film? (1:59)
• 5. That's What You Came Here to You (0:56)
• 6. Crazy Jealous/The Moment Just Passes By (3:14)
• 7. E-Mail/The Ring (3:12)
• 8. Bad News (1:03)
• 9. It's Over (3:00)
• 10. Julianne Makes an Entrance (0:53)
• 11. Marry Me/The Kiss (2:00)
• 12. The Garden Chase (1:08)
• 13. Michael's Proposal (2:35)
• 14. My Best Friend's Wedding Reprise (3:41)
The Trigger Effect:
• 15. Main Title (2:00)
• 16. The Pharmacy (2:34)
• 17. Guns and Knives (1:07)
• 18. You Up for This? (2:58)
• 19. It's Richard (3:08)
• 20. The Kiss (4:17)
• 21. Packing Montage (2:33)
• 22. Carjacking (3:32)
• 23. Mathew Runs (2:55)
• 24. The Farmhouse (2:12)
• 25. You Put It Down (4:47)
• 26. Restoration (2:59)
• 27. End Titles (3:06)

• 28. Pretty Woman: Main Title (3:45)
• 29. Junior: Main Title (4:30)
• 30. Alive: Main Title (3:08)

 Notes and Quotes:  

Neither insert includes extra information about the scores or films.

  All artwork and sound clips from My Best Friend's Wedding are Copyright © 1997, Promotional, Friends Records Bootleg. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/15/98 and last updated 3/12/06. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1998-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.