A film designed to win its star an Oscar if there ever was one, Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich sets up Julia Roberts as a working-class single-mom heroine for the oppressed, legally battling corporate giant Pacific Gas and Electric on behalf of the scores of poor locals who have endured decades of tumors and other illnesses thanks to the illegal use and dumping of poisonous chemicals. Filthy with character details and robust righteousness, the film is also notable for its dismissal of love and even parenthood in favor of doing justice, fighting the good fight, and working your ass off at something you believe in.
The question of whether or not men and women can be true friends without being romantically involved is put to the test when Dermot Mulroney tells best friend Julia Roberts that he’s getting married—and, by the way, it’s this weekend, so please fly out to celebrate the nuptials. Nothing ever looks so good as it does after it’s slipped from your grasp, so our heroine pulls out the underhanded stops to try to win him. Eccentric and campy, the fete includes Cameron Diaz, in full bloom, and the irrepressible Rupert Everett rescuing the day more than once.