Pros: Good cast. One or two decent moments.
Cons: Not funny and not that entertaining. Enforces a stereotype.
I've enjoyed movies with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, so I was interested when I first heard that they were making a movie together. Once Bride Wars came out, I heard a lot of bad things about the movie and I wasn't as interested in seeing it. I recently found it on HBO and decided to watch it since there wasn't anything else on at that time that I wanted to watch.
Best friends Emma and Liv have been obsessed with weddings since they were children. They both have definite dreams for their dream wedding even before they are engaged. Those dreams are based on them having seen a June wedding in the Plaza while children. Emma and Liv get engaged within days of each other and start planning their weddings. They both hire the most well known wedding planner in the city and even manage to get dates for the Plaza in June even though it is only three months away. A mistake is made and their weddings are booked for the same date instead of two different ones like they originally planned. The next available June date for the Plaza is three years away. Emma and Liv say they will work it out, but neither of them want to give up the date. They stop speaking and try to sabotage the other's wedding in some twisted attempt to make their own wedding more special.
The first few minutes of Bride Wars establishes that Emma and Liv have been friends since childhood when they frequently played wedding. They have been there for each other though several things over their twenty-year friendship. With how close they are supposed to be, it really isn't as believable that they turn on each other so completely. Both of them decide that the only way they can have their special day is if the other wedding is a disaster. After the problem with the dates happens, they decide that one of them has to pick a different date even though neither of them want to change the date. They don't check into possibly adjusting the times or even having a double ceremony which I think would make sense with how close they are supposed to be. Once the problem comes out, they become very childish and irrational in their attempts to secure their own perfect day at the expense of their best friend. I know that female friends don't always act rationally, but it does seem like Emma and Liv go to extremes. The movie also plays into the stereotype that women go insane while planning a wedding. Yes some women do seem to flip out during that time, but not all women are that way.
Not much actually happens during Bride Wars. Emma and Liv get engaged and start planning their weddings fairly early in the movie. Soon after that, things go wrong because of the date mix up and things are focused on the two friends each trying to get their own way at the expense of the other. They fight over the date and who will change. When that doesn't get anything settled, things spiral out of control. Neither woman is willing to compromise and is just focused on getting their own way. They get very petty with trying to out do each other. The battle over the weddings does start to add strain to other aspects of their lives. Most of what happens is rather predictable and not that entertaining. It gets old really quick seeing them do increasingly childish things to each other.
Bride Wars is supposed to be a comedy but I don't think the movie is that funny. Only one or two things that happen are mildly amusing. I think all the things that Emma and Liv do to ruin the other's wedding are supposed to be funny. I don't think they are. I didn't see the humor in Emma sending Liv a bunch of sweets in an attempt to get her to gain weight so her wedding dress won't fit. It isn't funny when Liv messes up Emma's dance lessons and tanning or when Emma fixes it so that Liv's hair turns blue. All of that is just stupid and not funny in any way. It isn't entertaining or interesting either.
The men that Emma and Liv are marrying really play small parts in Bride Wars. They are almost non-characters. The guys, Fletcher and Daniel, only turn up every so often and don't really do much. They just seem to be there just so the women can get engaged and go nuts planning weddings. It does seem like the guys are after thoughts to what is going on. Very little about either relationship is shown and each couple isn't even shown together that much. As the movie progresses, one of them becomes strained. I had expected the relationships to be featured a bit more than they were.
Emma and Liv are best friends who are very different. Emma is a teacher and seems to usually put others ahead of herself. She rarely stands up for herself, but she decides to make a stand for the date of the wedding. Once she decides to do that, she does fight a bit dirty. Anne Hathaway has done much better in other movies. Liv is more driven, both in work and with her personal life. She is use to getting things her way and she has trouble dealing with it when things don't go her way. Kate Hudson has done better in her other movies too. The material they had to work with just wasn't that strong.
Fletcher has been dating Emma for about ten years. He doesn't seem as interested in the wedding plans. Chris Pratt doesn't have much to do with the part. Daniel is engaged to Liv and he seems to deal well with her more pushy personality and seems slightly more interested in the plans. He has some sort of office job, though I have no idea what it is. Steve Howey doesn't have that much to do either.
Marion St. Claire is the most well known and sought after wedding planner in New York City. She turns up briefly in a few scenes and provides some mostly useless narration every so often. Candice Bergen really doesn't have much of anything to do in the movie. Deb is another teacher who works with Emma. Deb likes to slack off and keeps finding ways to push certain responsibilities off on Emma. Deb is very self involved. Kristen Johnson is fine in the part even though she is a flat, one dimensional character. Some of Emma and Liv's mutual friends show up in a few scenes without really doing much.
Candice Bergen - Marion St. Claire
Anne Hathaway - Emma
Steve Howey - Daniel
Kate Hudson - Liv
Kristen Johnson - Deb
Chris Pratt - Fletcher
Gary Winick - Director
I watched Bride Wars on one of the HBO channels I get. It has been turning up fairly often in the last several weeks. The movie has been released on DVD, but I have no idea what sort of extras are on the disc. I can't imagine being interested in any of the extras since I didn't find the movie that interesting.
Bride Wars has a decent cast that is wasted on the very weak, unfunny plot. One or two moments are slightly decent, but that isn't enough to redeem the movie.
Anne Hathaway Movie Reviews
The Devil Wears Prada ~ Ella Enchanted ~ Get Smart ~ Hoodwinked ~ The Princess Diaries ~ The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement ~