Posted on April 28, 2009 at 8:00 am
Movies thrive on smackdowns. “Clash of the Titans.” “Alien vs. Predator.” “Freddy vs. Jason.” “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Rocky vs. Apollo Creed. And now, Bridezilla vs. Bridezilla. Kate Hudson (who co-produced) and Anne Hathaway play BFFs who are sweetly supportive of each other for two decades, linked in part by their shared obsession with the perfect wedding, until they both get engaged. At first, they are delighted and agree to be each other’s maids of honor. But when the only available spots at their dream location of The Plaza are at the same time, their brief attempt to resolve the conflict quickly escalates to armed combat.
Hudson plays a lawyer named Liv, a hard-charging, keep-it-all-together type with severe bangs and black-rimmed eyes that are supposed to make her look severe but just look raccoon-ish. Hathaway is Emma, a sweet-natured teacher who gets pushed around by everyone. But when it comes to her wedding, she decides to push back.
The promising premise and surface gloss are entertaining and Hudson and Hathaway just about own the adorable category these days. But this story has a sour taste and a hollow heart. The men in the story are disposable accessories, never consulted or considered, barely remembered. Not only is there no suggestion that they or their families might have some role to play in planning the wedding, there is almost no suggestion that they might have some reason for being there after the honeymoon. Weddings are like some huge supermarket sweep of frantic me-me-me events. Both women have to shanghai substitute maids of honor. They engage in an embarrassing dance-off at the bachelorette party to see who is sexier. Co-screenwriter Casey Wilson (of “Saturday Night Live”) shows up as another bride and the regal Candace Bergen appears as the most sought-after wedding planner but here is not one woman in the story who shows any consideration or affection for a man. A friend of Kate’s and Liv’s who gets married at the beginning of the film is already planning her next wedding by the end. The only love story that matters here is the one between Kate and Liv. No one ever asks if any of this madness serves any purpose other than one-upmanship. This is not a story about people getting married — this is a movie version of playing with Barbies.