Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Bride Wars

Review by Rebecca Roth

It is every little girl’s dream to grow up and have a bigger, fancier wedding than anyone else… or at least, that’s what the movies tell us. Bride Wars uses this premise to create a fun little tale of two best friends, Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway), who grow up dreaming of a June wedding at the Plaza Hotel and end up getting more than they bargained for. After growing up together, getting engaged together, and meeting with a wedding planner (Candice Bergen) together, their seemingly inseparable friendship begins to crack under pressure when their weddings are erroneously booked for the same day. The movie takes a comical look at the crazy things women do when it comes to their wedding, the preening and planning… the obsession.

It’s hard to analyze these kinds of movies as they are primarily fluff; however, this movie definitely surprised me in comparison to similar fare. You see a near-perfect friendship at the start of the movie, but almost immediately after the announcement of their conflicting wedding date, the claws come out, their flaws and resentments appear and are quickly magnified. There is a downward spiral such that the relationships around the two women become affected; they do things they never would have thought themselves capable of.

To me the best part of the film was the fact that movie does wrap up nicely in the end, but not in the way you expect. When the situation mounts to cataclysmic proportions things are actually shown to break down, characters change and learn as a result, and plans change course – something these light-hearted movies rarely do.

Hudson and Hathaway play off each other so well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them paired in a film again; their characters are definitely contrasting personalities in the film (Liv is an uptight lawyer, Emma a more “granola” public school teacher), but they make the relationship seem natural and create an appropriate dynamic between the two. Kristin Johnston (from 3rd Rock from the Sun) on the other hand, is outright awkward as Emma’s needy co-worker who perpetually offloads her duties – we all know the type, but she just seems out of place, overacted and uncomfortable.

The movie is good, but not so enjoyable that I would go see it again. In general my sentiment is that once you have seen the trailer, you will have pretty much seen the movie (and a bit more, several scenes in the trailer were cut from the feature), so wait for it on DVD.

3 / 5 stars


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