Review: Bride Wars (2009)

Bride Wars (2009)

Directed by: Gary Winick | 90 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen, Bryan Greenberg, Chris Pratt, Steve Howey, Kristen Johnston, Michael Arden, Victor Slezak, Kelly Coffield, John Pankow, Zoe O’Grady, Shannon Ferber, June Diane Raphael, Charles Bernard, Emily Sarah Stikeman, Robert Capron, Kallie Mariah Tabor, Bruce Altman, Hettienne Park, Lauren Bittner, Jeremy Brothers, Rena Maliszweski, Casey Wilson, Sarah Kate Jackson, Jason Kolotouros, Paul Scheer, Andre Holland

Judging by the number of divorces, it would be better to call it the most optimistic day. Yet the cliche of the wedding day still lives on as the happiest day of your life, a cliche on which an infinite number of movies are based. So is the American chick flick ‘Bride Wars’, in which two best friends accidentally plan their wedding at the same time. Since their lives up to that point have revolved around fulfilling their wedding wish, none of the brides wants to compromise. So they make all kinds of evil plans to ruin each other’s wedding.

A nice comedy can probably be made from this premise, but the makers of ‘Bride Wars’ failed to do that. The schemes the ladies forge are bland, far-fetched and unbelievable. The low point is a dance competition in a strip club, where Bride 2 appears to dance better than Bride 1. Why exactly that should be painful for Bride 1 is never clear, as so much is not clear in this comedy. It is therefore surprising that three screenwriters co-wrote the film (so that you become curious who of the three is responsible for that one successful joke).

Unfortunately, the mediocre scenario isn’t the only pain point. The unhealthy looking Kate Hudson is miscast as the dominant Liv and the three male characters are completely interchangeable. In fact, often you no longer know which groom belongs to which bride. The female supporting roles are also barely developed, so that the only bright spot is Anne Hathaway, who at least manages to make something of her character.

What is most irritating is the way in which the entire wedding scene is handled. Adult women who turn into hysterical teenage girls as soon as they see an engagement ring. Of course in ‘Bride Wars’ that hysteria is ridiculed at times, but the tone is a lot less ironic than you might expect. For example, this chickflick might just make it on a girls night, but as a man you walk around it with a big bow. And that certainly applies to men with wedding plans.

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