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  Bride Wars

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Bryan Greenberg, Chris Pratt

Directed by: Gary Winick

Produced by: Kate Hudson, Alan Riche, Julie Silverman-Yorn
Written by: Greg DePaul (screenplay & story), Casey Wilson & June Raphael (screenplay)

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

     Feminists rarely get anything right, but on Bride Wars they’ve come pretty close. While I don’t buy the notion that the film, as feminists claim, is an insult to women because it depicts females as conniving, superficial morons, I do think it is condemnable for its depiction of (lacking) Western values. No, the movie isn’t “why the terrorists hate us”—not even close—but it stars two American pop-culture icons who many around the world like and admire behaving like childish idiots. The fact that they are Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, stars normally associated with wholesome mainstream entertainments, makes Bride Wars even more pathetic.

     I didn’t go into Bride Wars expecting it to be a work of art or even a good movie. It would be tough to hold the bar that high for a January romantic-comedy released by a major studio. But I didn’t think the movie would be offensive. Such is what we get from Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson, and June Diane Raphael’s script, which turns b-f-fs Emma (Hathaway) and Liv (Hudson) against each other when an improbable clerical error schedules their dream weddings on the same day at the same time in different rooms of the same venue. The premise would actually be kind of cute if it had the same tact seen in the more innocent trailers. But the writers never once create genuinely funny situations out of Emma and Liv’s competitive wedding planning, RSVP begging, and bridesmaid recruiting. The movie merely consists of one trivial bitch-fight after another, only to then of course end under the obligatory “happily ever after” ribbon. Misleading image of Americans’ superficiality aside, that the movie has the nerve to force-feed moviegoers such schlock is offensive in and of itself.

     The usually-charming Hathaway and Hudson have appeared in bad movies before—actors don’t usually have complete control over what they appear in—but this is the first real failure for once indie-director Gary Winick. Building his career on clever micro-budget hits like Tadpole and moving on to superior commercial entertainments like 13 Going on 30 and Charlotte’s Web, Winick’s choice to tackle Bride Wars comes off as a premature sell-out to Hollywood. There’s no possible way he read the atrocious script for the film and thought it would be a worthwhile creative endeavor. The only credit thing I’ll give Winick credit for is the movie’s semi-tolerable 90-minute running-length.

     I’m tempted to conclude by calling Bride Wars’ hyperbolic attempts at dark comedy failed because they end up darker than do comedic, but I would be overestimating the film in assuming it was going for dark comedy in the first place. Judging it as the hokey screwball effort it was likely intended to be, Bride Wars is just plain vile.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 1.12.2009

Screened on: 1.9.2009 at the Krikorian Metroplex 15 at Vista Village in Vista, CA.


Bride Wars is rated PG-13 and runs 90 minutes.

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