Fox // 2009 // 89 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 8th, 2009
The physical manifestation of catastrophic brain death in round plastic disc form.
Kate Hudson (Fools Gold) and Anne Hathaway (Get Smart) star in a...well, I don't know how to classify Bride Wars. It's not remotely funny, so "comedy" doesn't work. It's not warm or sentimental, so "romance" is out. I guess what I'm looking for is "affront to God and all that is holy." Yes, that's it! Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway star in an affront to God and all that is holy.
Liv (Hudson) and Emma (Hathaway) have been best friends since they were little girls and the one thing they treasured most was the magical promise of their wedding day. Their mutual dream is to get married in June at The Plaza in Manhattan; and wouldn't you know it, after a series of high-larious shenanigans, they end up getting engaged at the same time, and there's only one open slot at The Plaza in June.
As would happen in real life, these two soul mates promptly enter into a vicious war over their wedding dilemma. With each successive strike, the retaliation is even more malevolent. Needless to say, their friendship is fractured, their girlfriends are torn, their families are confused, their fiancés are exasperated, and the viewing audience is very, very close to sticking its head in the oven.
I don't mind chick flicks. I really don't. If there's a hint of comedy, the writing is relatively sharp, or even if the courtship is compelling, I'll sit through anything, no matter how much screen time Patrick Dempsey commands. For Bride Wars, I have a simple message to all the husbands and boyfriends out there: Run!!!
Run the @#$% away, as far and as fast as you possibly can! I don't care if you have to agree to repeat viewing of the entire Pride and Prejudice BBC miniseries, if your significant other throws even the most passing of glances towards Bride Wars on the rental shelf, YOU MUST PREEMPTIVELY STRIKE. Fake a coronary, if you have to, but get out of there. This is the hot zone, brother. You linger long enough and there's an excellent chance you will end up back home, strapped to the couch for 90 minutes, watching the worst movie you've seen in a long time, yearning for a spare moment when no one's watching where you can subtly palm the Blu-ray remote and drive it into your eye socket.
My loathing for Bride Wars burns white-hot and pure. There is one thing about this release that I liked. One. It's a four-minute improv sketch, in the extras, featuring the three male leads riffing about their "Man Den." I laughed more at that stupid throw-away bonus feature than anything in the feature film.
Bride Wars wants to be a screwball comedy, but the central gimmick of the women trying to one-up each other with worse and worse wedding pranks is completely worthless. The big centerpiece joke is when Emma swaps out Liv's hair dye, turning her hair blue. Yep, that's it. She has blue hair and this tepid-episode-of-Full-House gag is milked relentlessly. From there it goes downhill, real fast: Liv messes with Emma's tanning booth, so her skin turns orange; Emma crashes Liv's bachelorette party, stealing the spotlight by dancing whorishly with a couple of male strippers; and my favorite, Liv hires a dance instructor to teach Emma and her fiancé the waltz, but instead breakdance for three hours, never questioning that this maybe isn't the waltz they're learning. But man what a funny montage set to C&C Music Factory! Ach. You'll find funnier gags in an S&M bondage video gone horribly awry.
Add to that, there isn't a likable character to be found. Liv and Emma are awful. Even when the predictable reconciliation goes down, I'm sure you'll share my utter apathy towards this contrived feel-good moment. Not once in the entire accursed runtime did I ever feel a molecule of sympathy towards these two spoiled, obnoxious twits. Why their brainless fiancés didn't flee in the middle of the night for a non-extradition country is beyond me.
Fox's Blu-ray -- plus DVD, plus Digital Copy to punish yourself in three formats -- is decent, starting with a solid 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. The colors are robust, but the resolution was on the soft side. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is clean, but relegated mainly to music montages and screaming women. Overall, an average high-def treatment. Extras: a pop-up trivia track; worthless deleted scenes; outtakes; two moronic featurettes on The Plaza and Vera Wang, which are essentially commercials; two Fox Movie Channel looks at Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway; and three skits including that man den bit, the "Amanda-Cam" (completely disposable because of all the repellant characters, this Amanda lady was the most repellent), and a segment following around Liv's "Maid of Honor." Nothing good here.
My wife watched this movie with me and she hated it too.
Guilty. Run away from this Bride.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
* Trivia Track
* Deleted Scenes