3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 90 minutes
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Narrated by Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen), New York City’s premier wedding planner, “Bride Wars” (Gary Winick) centers on Liv (Kate Hudson), an assertive and successful lawyer, and Emma (Anne Hathaway), an extremely generous and devoted middle-school teacher. Their idea of a perfect wedding rests on two conditions: the Plaza Hotel and being each other’s maid-of-honor. And yes, of course, getting a marriage proposal. When Fletcher (Chris Pratt), Emma’s boyfriend, pops the question via fortune cookie, and Daniel (Steve Howey), Liv’s beau, gets around to it as well, the two brides-to-be whole-heartedly dive into the event planning stage. There’s just one problem: a scheduling conflict that eventually leads to the warning, “your wedding better watch it.”

Promotional materials for the comedy “Bride Wars” frame the film around the question of what could be worse for a young woman about to embark on the journey down holy matrimony road than an ill-fitting dress, walking down the aisle alone, or being forgotten at the altar? For Liv and Emma, it would be a double-booked wedding at the Plaza hotel. Shock becomes disappointment, which then morphs into distress and then all-out antagonism as each woman refuses to allow anything, even one another, interfere with the single most important day in her life.

Winick’s film does more than entertain the hilariously mean (day-spa treatment and caloric sabotage) and utterly crazy (saving-the-date invites, a dance-off in a club) consequences of an administrative mistake. Along with the portrayal of Liv and Emma’s relationship, the voice-overs and photographic montages position “Bride Wars” as an anthropological comedy, presenting an entry point into the operating mechanisms behind close female friendships and what it would take to create a wedge between a pair of best-friends-forever.

“Bride Wars” is a chick flick in the purest sense—it’s not about men or falling in love—and is quite funny. Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway possess a strong sense of physical comedy and exude enough chemistry for us to believe that their characters would go through the lengths that they do to secure the perfect wedding ceremony. It might have taken three screenwriters to finalize the blueprint, but the end result is deliciously mindless and doesn’t pretend to offer more substance than it delivers.

Posted on January 15, 2009 in Reviews by

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