Friday, 19 June 2015

Movie Review: Bride Wars (2009)


A brain dead comedy about best friends who become worst enemies and competing brides-to-be, Bride Wars is a monumental embarrassment.

In New York City, Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) have been friends since childhood. As young girls they witnessed the perfect June wedding at the Plaza Hotel, and so they grew up with the common dream of getting married at the Plaza in June. Now Liv is a high-powered, highly-paid lawyer, and Emma is a humble school teacher, but despite their personality differences they remain best friends.

Their boyfriends propose around the same time, but a mix-up at the office of wedding planner Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen) means that both their weddings are booked at the same day on the same hour. Liv and Emma both refuse to give up the date and then turn against each other, working hard to sabotage the competing wedding as their big day approaches.

The kind of film that gives chick flicks a really bad name, Bride Wars is a miserable excuse for entertainment. Directed by Gary Winick, this is an unfunny, unintelligent film, catering to women's most base instincts. From the fantasy dream of the perfect wedding to the cattiness of destroying a life-long friendship over trivialities, Bride Wars offers nothing but a bad, witless exercise in vacuous, self-obsessed behaviour.

And very little of it is funny. There is maybe one laugh in the still too long 89 minutes of running time, as the film quickly disintegrates into two women one-upping each other with stupid pranks. Liv sabotages Emma's pre-wedding sun-tan skin tone into traffic-cone orange. Emma sabotages Liv's pre-wedding hair colour into a blonde-and-blue disaster. Emma gate-crashes Liv's bacherolette party. Liv spreads a rumour that Emma is pregnant. Winick delivers all the antics with the subtlety of a rusted mechanical bull.

The extent of character development stops at the icy Liv learning to be more vulnerable and the meek Emma learning to be more assertive. Anne Hathaway deals with the thin material as best as she can, and often she single-handedly tries to pull the film out of the gutter, to no avail. Kate Hudson's level of comfort is unfortunately much more aligned with the mindless fare on offer. Candice Bergen not only suffers the indignity of having to appear in the film, but offers up useless narration just to make matters worse. The men who stand around and do next to nothing as the brides wage war include Chris Pratt, Bryan Greenberg and Steve Howey.

Crude and dull, Bride Wars is a lot of noise on an unnecessary front.






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