Bride Wars – Review

Why on Earth would anyone marry either of these two?

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Director: Gary Winick
Notable Cast:
Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen, Bryan Greenberg, Chris Pratt

There’s something magical about a wedding; a couple vowing to spend their lives together, friends and family all celebrating the union of both a couple and of two separate but equal families and all the other assorted shenanigans that go on and around a wedding. But it’s hard to get excited about a wedding if the wedded party is completely and totally unlikable in every aspect, hence making the conclusion of this blessed event something not enjoyable and perhaps slightly painful. That’s what Bride Wars feels like; a long painful event with two protagonists who demand nothing but contempt.

Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) are two best friends who have dreamed about getting married in The Plaza since they were children. When they both get engaged, they pay for the best wedding planner in town (Candice Bergen). They both seemingly agree to have weddings on different weekends in the same month, but when a quirk arises and both are put on the same day changes have to be made. When neither will budge, a prank war breaks out between the two as they try and sabotage each other’s weddings.

Now this would mean something if we actually cared about either character, but unfortunately the film’s problem is that it fails to give us a single redeeming factor of either women because cursory facts. Yes they are best friends since childhood. Yes they are played by likeable actresses. But unfortunately neither character is given anything to go on besides a name, an occupation and a particular role in the friendship. Liv is the domineering one and Emma tends to buckle to her whims. It makes for an interesting dynamic at times because both actresses are good but neither character is given enough time to establish a reason to care.

And that’s a major problem for the film because ultimately there’s no reason to care about their fighting. Certain aspects of the film meant to hit home the film’s theme of friendship and love take huge hits because neither character is developed meaningfully to begin with. By the time the film gets to the point where major emotional moments take place there’s no reason to feel anything. The film is much ado about nothing at that point, as it’s mainly a series of moderately funny moments building up to an emotional payoff that isn’t much of a payoff per se. It’s more of a compulsory conclusion then anything else; it’s there because it has to be, not because it’s the culmination of a film about the travails of friendship.

While Bride Wars is interesting on its face because it has two female leads of some not, it’s a typical January release in both quality. The film doesn’t serve any sort of purpose other than to exist; at a shade over 90 minutes it’s a quick viewing that’s forgettable as soon as the lights in the theatre come back on.