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Bride Wars

Movie title: Bride Wars (2009)
Grade: C+ (2 ½ stars)
Rated: PG
Summation: Two lifelong best friends butt heads when they are compelled to get married on the same day.
Spoilers ahead: No

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Bride Wars is a girly-girl film, the equivalent of a “that’s my boyfriend” schoolyard catfight. Two grown-up women and best friends butt heads in planning weddings when a scheduling mistake places their glamorously planned weddings on the same day at the same ultra-fancy location, The Plaza.

Candice Burgen tells the story from her point of view as Marion St. Claire, Manhattan’s most sought-after wedding planner. Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) are two best friends, so close in fact that their grandiose weddings were planned out as young girls, and years of growing and pursuing different careers didn’t rip those plans apart. When the question for the two gets popped by their men, they say “yes,” and then it’s just a matter of making the arrangements. That’s when things get complicated.

Since the scheduling hiccup has them jammed into being married on the same day, they are forced to make sacrifices and work together in what should be separate weddings. This creates resentment and jealousy and competition between two seemingly inseparable girlfriends.

A girlfriend once told me that no one hates a girl like another girl, and it seems to make sense in light of their competitive nature. And when it comes to weddings, almost anyone who has had one can tell you that weddings aren’t fun, even when they’re a dream come true. The planning and preparation makes it a nightmare, and hence, a breeding-ground for turning on those closest to you. And it’s a life lesson that those closest to you can hurt you the most. Potentially at least, it is those closest to us who are our worst enemies.

What hurts the movie is that it doesn’t get interesting until forty minutes into it when the hissing and cat-fighting starts. In humorless “chick flick” style things progress; painstakingly, uninterestingly, they progress (unless the snooty rich girl life of manicures and making hair appointments happens to hold your attention).

Bride Wars is very well directed and sublimely acted, with properly defined characters and a story all throughout. The real fun begins when the hissy-fits and evil eyes give way to shear meanness and act after act of social, physical, and occupational sabotage. This provides an especially interesting insight into the dark side of friendships, even if the concept behind the movie is an exaggerated take on the notion of a “bride-zilla.”

It is supposed to be a comedy, but it’s not a comedy. It would have to be funny for that. At its closest, it’s a dry and sprightly smile-inducer with some wit. But I can’t say much more for it than that. I wouldn’t put it up there with the likes of Fried Green Tomatoes or Thelma and Louise, with their gravely entrenching storylines, but the non-serious girl-against-girl banter does bring out the light drama of temporary friendship fall-outs. That makes it cute, and for some, watch-able.

We conclude with a multiple-choice question: Who should see this movie? Is it, A) Chick-flick lovers. B) Wedding planners and others who are big-time infatuated with weddings. C) Those who don’t mind and have the time to watch a docile movie about friends in a spat. Or, D) All of the above. The answer is D.

(JH)

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Director: Gary Winick
Starring: Kate Hudson “Liv,” Anne Hathaway “Emma,” Bryan Greenberg “Nate,” Chris Pratt “Fletcher,” Steve Howey “Daniel,” Candice Bergen “Marion St. Claire,” Kristen Johnston “Deb,” Michael Arden “Kevin,” Victor Slezak “Colson”
Genre: Comedy

Comments

  1. I am so glad I didnt spend the $10 to buy a ticket for this movie. Instead, I paid $4.00 to rent the dvd and even then I was upset. What a crappy movie and I must admit that the actors should stick with something more dramatical.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...and yet I messaged a chick friend who, when I called this one out, said: "Take it back! Take it back!"

    Amazing the stuff people find fancy.

    (JH)

    ReplyDelete

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