Bride Wars

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.

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22 Replies to “Bride Wars”

  1. Good review. The ‘dance off’ scene was particularly dreadful … not funny, not interesting and it didn’t move the story forward.
    “Bride Wars” isn’t vicious enough … or sentimental enough to be worth our time. It’s wishy washy.

  2. It got a rating of zero on the Rotten Tomatoes meter. They say Anne Hathaway has hurt her Oscar chances with this film.

  3. I took 4, 12-year-old girls to this movie tonight and was totally embarrassed. I wished I had read this movie review beforehand. I feel this movie needs a PG-13 rating and that the sexually-charged content and language in parts of the movie are inappropriate for this age group. One of the words uttered is G-D, and that in itself is worth noting.

  4. Thanks so much, Carla. I am so sorry you had this experience but very grateful you shared it with other parents who are looking for guidance. Unfortunately the ratings have all ratcheted downward and what once got a PG-13 now gets a PG.

  5. My daughter (12) and her friend (13) went to see the movie, and walked out during the “bachelorette party” scene. Her friend is allowed to see PG-13 movies, but agreed that this one was just too much, especially for a PG movie.

  6. Thanks, HilPil. I have so much respect for kids who have the maturity to walk out when they find that a movie is inappropriate. Good for them and good for their parents!

  7. You know who really gets short-sheeted in most of these movies? The minister / clergy / priest / rabbi / officiant. Except for Robin Williams horrible representation in a very forgettable movie (whose title I have actually forgotten), the officiants are often not even considered, except as an awlwardly necessary accessory. So representing the clergy who read your reviews I must say that I would be unlikely to condone this insanity or consent to officiating at either wedding. Early in my career I was convinced to do a couple fo weddings that I thought were more show than relationship. Since then, I have gotten the nerve to say “no” a couple of times – and each has proven to be good choices. A Wedding is NOT the most wonderful day in your married life – tomorrow should be. Placing all of the emphasis on one flash of a moment is not only foolish, it is the worst kind of fantasy. I understand the premise of the film, but I think there are many ways to work through the issues in a less slapstick and emotional stunting way. If they took the issue at all seriously they would likely have made a much better film.

  8. Right as always, jestrfyl! Take a look at “Not Easily Broken,” released on the same day and written by a minister, for a good example of a movie portrayal of the role that the clergy can play in guiding and supporting a young couple. Another favorite example for me is in “The Quiet Man.”

  9. This movie was not that bad. I went with my 15 year old daughter we both thouhgt it was funny and was a good story of frindship. Although there were some parts that were a little too much, it was a funny movie. I believe it’s exceptable for any girl from highschool level and up.

  10. I have a grat wish to watch this new movie but unfortunatly I can’t do this because they ask me to pay. And if someone read my comment please answer me from where can I download this movie”BRIDE WARS” FOR FREE

  11. Nini, we welcome your comments but remind you that illegal downloads constitute stealing and we will not permit any information to be posted about how or where to do it.

  12. Me(11) and my cousin(13) went to see Bride Wars,I thought it was a pretty good movie,I wouldnt really call it a “funny” movie though.We both thought the language was too much for a PG movie.Eventhough my friend was 13,and she has seen much worse movies,she though that this one was like an ordinary PG-13 movie,so I would say whoever rated this movie has nothing in their head.
    So unless your child is in highschool,I suggest you dont go to this movie for its graphic nature.

  13. Thanks so much, Laf Bug! I am sorry to say that the last four PG movies I have seen felt more like PG-13 to me. I think the ratings board has really lowered their standards. I agree with you that this one is not for kids and not really “funny.”
    Thanks for your comment, which will be very helpful to people who are deciding whether to see this film, and please keep letting me know what you think of the movies you see.

  14. I too wish I had read this review before renting the DVD. Unfortunately I trusted the PG rating. We have loved Anne Hathaway since her Princess days, and even in The Devil Wears Prada. But I was absolutely shocked and appalled to see the male stripper scene in this movie – even if it was PG-13 it doesn’t belong!! What 13-17 year old girls need to know that even exists??!! My daughter was really akwardly uncomfortable and I told her to just fast-forward past that scene. From now on I’ll take the time to review before renting.

  15. Thanks so much for helping me warn other parents with this comment, Jessica! I am so sorry you and your daughter had this awful experience. It is a dreadful movie, and I am sorry to say that the MPAA rating system is completely unreliable.

  16. If you’re looking for a comedy with weird plot twists and a sprinkling of humor, then you’ll still be searching – Bride Wars excels at the former and sadly fails at the latter. It’s not entirely silly sabotage and witless laughs as a few scenes and characters do stand out of the cliché wedding comedy crowd, but ultimately the tragic outcomes and easy clean-up of a far too messy situation will leave viewers wishing for a more comfortably predictable plot line. so watch this movie ..

  17. You are too right, Abby! And the worst of it is, with that cast and that concept, it could have worked! What a waste of talent and for those poor audience members who suffered through it, what a waste of time. Great comment.

  18. It’s sad that parents need a site like this because the standards for the ratings are so low, but I am glad it is here. I am glad parents who care about what their children are exposed to can come to a place and get feedback from other parents about these movies. As for this one (Bride Wars), my ten year old daughter is also a huge Hathaway fan and doesn’t understand why she can’t watch this one. I am glad I checked here before I watched it with her.

  19. I’m 14 and I saw it with my mom and my friend and her mom and they liked it. But it should be PG-13 because I saw kids under 10 watching it and i think they shouldn’t have

  20. I agree, Kristena! Many thanks — your comment is very helpful (and very wise). Please come back often to let us know what you think about the movies you see.

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