, Port Arthur, Texas


January 12, 2009

“War” is hell


“Bride Wars”

20th Century Fox Films

Directed by Gary Winick

Starring Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candace Bergen, Steve Howey and Chris Pratt

Rated PG

1 Star   


Producers know that guys will go see any movie, no matter how bad, provided that you fill it with fast cars, big explosions and beautiful women. I suppose that it’s only natural that the female equivalent, “Bride Wars,” rolls into theaters under the assumption that women will go see any movie, no matter how bad, if it focuses exclusively on two women who set out to plan the perfect wedding.

Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway play the brides-to-be, two childhood friends who have been dreaming about their big day ever since they were little girls. They become engaged, but due to a scheduling mix up, they both book the New York Plaza Hotel on the same day. They can’t move the date, and neither woman wants to give up on her dream for a perfect wedding. By movie logic, the only possible solution is for the best friends to become bitter rivals and set out to sabotage the other’s ceremony.

Now I’m not the most strident feminist out there, but even I can see that this movie takes a pretty shallow view of feminine values. Even worse, “Bride Wars” isn’t funny; it’s little more than a base comedy that drags two otherwise appealing actresses through the mud of petty squabbles before a half-hearted attempt at a happy ending. “Bride Wars” might have struck a genuine comic nerve had the filmmakers really set out to skewer the excesses of the wedding industry, but by settling for a tepid PG rating, those humorous barbs never amount to anything of note.

The same holds true for the film’s leading ladies, who don’t provide any memorable moments other than the obvious visual gag of a cat fight between two women in wedding dresses. The leading men fare even worse, and might as well have been played by tuxedo mannequins.

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