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Bride Wars (2009)

| September 12, 2009 | 0 Comments

Bride Wars made me itch. It comes from that dumbbell TV sitcom world in which everyone has an IQ of about 12 and performs actions that no logical human being on the planet would ever attempt. Worse is that it stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, two of the smartest and funniest actresses of their generation, as life-long friends who stage a mean-spirited spite war when they find that their respective weddings are booked on the same day, in the same place, at the same time. Handled with care, I could probably go with that premise but when the climactic moment has one bride tackling the other in the aisle during the ceremony, I had long since checked out.

Hudson and Hathaway are Liv and Emma, lifelong BFF’s who have dreamed of their weddings since they were little girls, staging their ceremony in front of the mirror. Years later they have grown into beautiful and successful young women, Liv is a lawyer and Emma is a school teacher. They have boyfriends whose main function is to propose and show up in a tux, but the girls never seem to be in love with them. The guys seem to be props that are set up so the girls won’t look stupid going solo at their own wedding.

After being proposed to on the spot, Emma and Liv seek out the most sought-after wedding planner in New York, Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen) who is suppose to resemble the kind of hard-assed business woman that Meryl Streep played in The Devil Wear Prada. Bless her heart, Bergen is a fine actress in the right role, but she is about as intimidating as a stuffed parrot. She informs the girls that, through a clerical error, both of their weddings have been booked at The Plaza Hotel on the same day at the same time. Neither wants to move because, after all, the girls have had their hearts set on the Plaza since they saw a wedding performed there 20 years ago. Somehow I get the feeling that a wedding planner with Ms. St. Claire’s reputation would have figured something out. No one ever suggests that one of the brides have a wedding in say July or maybe a date that isn’t three months from now, but never mind.

Both brides are completely immobile. Neither will budge on the date and thus begins a hateful practical joke war that involves orange spray-tan, blue hair, pregnancy rumors, a dance-off and an embarrassing spring break video. Surprisingly, despite their longtime friendship neither party gets their feelings hurt. Even more surprising is the fact that no one seems to be around to stop their little feud. There don’t seem to be any families around. Mom and dad are basically null and void, there are no other girlfriends anywhere except for those in attendance at Liv’s invitation-only bachelorette party.

Yet, there I go, putting logic into a movie that has no logic. Otherwise I would wonder how two brides could put together individual weddings in the span of just three months. There are never any signs that they are working a budget and the logistics of all of the massive planning that goes into putting a wedding together – flowers, food, bridesmaids, the minister, tuxes, groomsmen, invitations, rehearsals – never come into question. Nor is a Honeymoon even mentioned.

What disappoints me most is watching two smart and intuitive and creative actresses behave like dimwits. Kate Hudson seems to have sold out her career after a brilliant start as a hippie “band-aid” in Almost Famous. Her subsequent career has been in a series of dumb comedies, bottoming out with this one. Anne Hatheway is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. She has notes to play both comedy (Get Smart and The Devil Wears Prada) and drama (Brokeback Mountain and Becoming Jane). Ironically, within three weeks, she made the worst movie of her career (this one) and the best movie of her career, Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married. It can only be hoped that Bride Wars is a slip-up that both of them will carefully try to avoid in the future. This movie is so bad, it actually gets worse the more you think about it.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2009) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy