The 'My Best Friend’s Wedding' Cast Just Revealed That The Iconic Musical Moment Wasn't In The Original Script
My Best Friend's Wedding is one of the best rom-coms of the '90s. And, as such, it's only right that it be revisited every year when Valentine's Day roles around. In fact, the My Best Friend's Wedding cast reunited for Entertainment Weekly, and they revealed how the film's iconic musical moment came together.
The 1997 film, which starred Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, and Rupert Everett, tells the story of food critic Julianne Potter (Roberts), who discovers that her longtime best friend Michael O'Neal (Mulroney) plans to marry a rich college student named Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz). The news quickly sends Julianne into a jealousy-fueled crisis when she realizes that she's actually in love with Michael. Determined to get him back, Julianne enlists the help of her gay pal George Downes (Everett) in a plot to sabotage the wedding. The plot is pure rom-com magic, and in addition to its fun drama and flawless casting, it also features an unforgettable musical moment. In fact, the rom-com became an instant classic thanks, in part, to a stand-out scene which featured George belting out a rendition of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David written tune “I Say a Little Prayer” at a seafood restaurant as the wedding party and the rest of the crowd eventually join in.
My Best Friend's Wedding director P.J. Hogan — and man responsible for the film's musical backdrop — shared some insight on how the scene came to be with EW. Hogan, who the publication revealed was interviewed separately for the four main cast members, explained:
"I really wanted to give George a lot more…I’d always wanted to do a scene at a restaurant. I was talking with my wife and I just said, 'What if he was to lead a big singalong — what would be a song that everybody knows?' We realized that everybody seems to know at least most of the lyrics to quite a few Bacharach songs."
It was certainly a genius move on Hogan's part as it gave viewers a moment to sing along to while helping them relate to the characters on a more personal level. Lending more insight into the bit's origin, Everett noted that the epic scene was a last minute add-in, written by Hogan just before filming started. He told EW, "[It wasn’t written] when I got the script originally. And then when the movie started, P.J. invented the scene."
The singalong scene is one that fans of the film won't soon forget as it brought even larger popularity to the Billboard Hot 100 hit, which was originally written for Dionne Warwick and later popularized by Aretha Franklin. Diaz also reminisced on the moment, telling the magazine, "And the best part of it was when they started handing out the bibs. And we were all like, 'What?' We were like, 'Is this happening?' They’re like, 'Yeah.'"
And although it's been nearly 22 years since My Best Friend's Wedding opened on June 20, 1997, it seems that the film's cast has not missed a beat. EW reported that Roberts and Mulroney, who are close friends in real life and recently appeared in Homecoming together, arrived for the reunion together, and the laughter from that moment on was seemingly non-stop. The publication noted that casts' "joy echoed throughout the photo studio" and referred to their energy as "infectious." In reading EW's piece it's abundantly clear that their love for one another is truly genuine.
Amidst the interview Diaz, who officially revealed that she retired from acting in 2018, gushed about the film and her fellow cast mates, saying:
“People come up to me and just say, 'My Best Friend’s Wedding!' and I’m like, 'Aww.' It’s just this joyous feeling that you get off of them. I appreciate that so much.”
It seems that the reunion triggered a wide range of emotions for the cast members. EW wrote that Mulroney was moved to tears as he recounted his time with the film. He shared, “I think about these guys every day. Because people come up to me and they bring up this movie every day for the last 22 years.”
Meanwhile, Everett likened his character's relationship with Julianne's to that of the titular characters of the recently rebooted sitcom Will and Grace. Roberts added that their two characters would probably still be inseparable today, saying, "We’re not living together. But I live across the street."
More than two decades later, the chemistry between Roberts, McDermott, Diaz, and Everett remains undeniable.