Bride Wars Movie Review

PG, 89 min, 2009

Director: Gary Winick
Writers: Greg DePaul (screenplay) and Casey Wilson (screenplay) & June Diane Raphael (screenplay), Greg DePaul … (story)

Stars: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen

Just in time for the one-year anniversary of the marriage obsession debacle that was 27 Dresses, here comes another embarassing attempt at sociopathic tendencies and wedding frenzy as comedy.

Bride Wars stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as lifelong friends Liv and Emma, who have dreamed, for as long as either of them can remember, of getting married. Liv is a power-hungry micromanaging attorney at a prestigious law firm. Emma is the nice, mild-mannered one who is scarcely less crazy than Liv, but is nevertheless obsessed with the idea of getting married. They are both in serious relationships with the requisite husbands-to-be Nate and Fletcher (Bryan Greenberg and Chris Pratt, playing the thankless guy roles in a chick comedy like this one).

Spoiler Warning: Ecstatic over getting engaged, Liv and Emma go to the most popular gal in the marriage business in New York City, Marion St. Clare (Candice Bergin, a long, long way from Boston Legal). She manages to book them both weddings at the Plaza in June, but through an obvious development/contrivance, they are inevitably scheduled (via a “mistake”) for the same day. And so the war begins. These two lifelong friends manage to connive, sabatoge and wound each other in their quest for “the perfect wedding” – apparently, the desire to get married trumps even the most devoted friendship, and brings out the worst in people.

The movie was directed by Gary Winick (Tadpole, 13 Going on 30, Charlotte’s Web) and written by Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael; the fact that the story was concieved solely by a man, and that the film is directed by a man is, I think, a sign of what’s wrong with this movie. I realize that this is a “comedy” and that it’s an exaggeration of what, I guess, is a “real” issue among women. Still, I didn’t for one second believe that anyone could possibly be this insane over such stupidity. As if no connection whatsoever to reality wasn’t enough, the film is quite simply not funny. Not at all.

Note: The film was photographed by Frederick Elmes (Blue Velvet, Synecdoche, New York) and shows (astonishingly) not a second of proof that he was behind the camera. The whole affair looks like a bad sitcom or detergent commercial, and is blindingly hard to watch, in vibrant pinks and yellows.



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