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Bride Wars: Trite and Joyless

Movies about weddings can be so fun and girly and sweet. It's easy to get swept up in the sparkly rings and the hunt for the perfect dresses and the cream-colored towering cakes. Plus, at the heart of Bride Wars there's also this relationship between two BFFs and I'm all for movies with an emphasis on the strength of female friendship. But this film doesn't do right by either the fun bridal aspect or the "girlfriend" aspect and comes up seeming empty and kinda sad.

Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) are the bestest of friends who spent much time as children dreaming of (and role-playing) their weddings. Now that they're adults (Liv a harsh, high-powered businesswoman and Emma the sensitive low-paid schoolteacher), they plan to be each other's maid of honor and as luck would have it, they both get engaged around the same time. But when they meet with wedding planner extraordinaire Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen), an administrative hiccup causes the two weddings to be booked at the Plaza Hotel on the same date. When neither one will move her wedding, the two brides-to-be turn against each other, trying to sabotage the other's wedding, and their friendship suffers. For more of my thoughts on all this,


For a "comedy," there's not much humor involved, and regardless of whether the intention was to satirize bridezillas, the truth is that the whole thing has this eerie antiquated feeling to it. What year are we living in? What era is this when two grown women have spent their lives — and apparently their whole friendship — aspiring mostly just to have lavish weddings? And then, when the weddings are booked on the same day, they attack each other? How is this that important? One of them is even demoted at her job because, as it appears in the movie, her hysterical little lady brain can't handle the stress of destroying her "best friend's" wedding and navigating the big bad business world. At the core of it all, their main "problem" is hard to accept. Just move the dang wedding!

During the moments when they’re supposedly these superclose best-best-best friends, I just can't buy it. They don't really seem to even like each other. But then when they are scheming and tricking each other, it's just kinda boring. Emma gets an orange tan. Liv's hair turns blue. Yawn. For one thing, we see most of this in the trailer so none of it is a funny surprise. For another thing, it's not particularly interesting or clever — it's merely cruel and catty.

Anne Hathaway saves some scenes with her endearing ways and that big ol' toothy smile. But Kate Hudson just looks. . . mean. She looks angry and mean all the time. Even when she’s supposed to be happy or sweet or apologetic there's no getting past that meanness. Something about her look in this movie, combined with her hateful, selfish character makes it difficult to like or care about Liv.

The movie redeems itself a little toward the end when the women have had their own journeys that ultimately lead them closer to each other and more in tune with the women they want to be, etc. etc. etc. But the sweetness of this doesn't quite make up for the joylessness of all that came before it.

Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Join The Conversation
misfeldtranee misfeldtranee 8 years
I did waste my money to see it was ok. Not worth the money spent, would have rather waited to rent it, but b/c I just got married and am in two this year, thought it would be enjoyable. There were many points when I could have thought of better things they could have been doing. And so true, that they showed all the best parts in the trailer. If you have to reveal that much in the trailer just to get people to see it....not good.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I agree with nlh 100%. I saw it on Friday (my sis just got engaged) and I thought it was super cite, funny and quirky. What did people really expect with the title "Bride Wars." I mean it's a movie, it's sometimes meant to be over the top and not what we consider the norm.
Allyace Allyace 8 years
This movie looks insultingly horrible. I'm ashamed of Anne that she even took this part (not surprised in the least that Kate would go there though...). Why do movie producers think that we want to watch girlfriends get that upset at each other over a wedding? Blah.
nlh nlh 8 years
I have to totally disagree with the review. I went last night with some friends and we really liked it. The theater was filled with women and girls having a good time and laughing a lot--even applauding at the end. There have been a lot of reviews focusing on sexism and meanness. Huh?? What is a movie without some conflict? The meanness here was more comedic fun in my opinion, and it all circled around to friendship and how the friends came back together. There was nothing sexist or mysogist about that at all, and I'm very sensitive to that. When you have truly disgusting humor directed at women in all the Judd Apatow-type movies, why pick on this one? Bride Wars just good, lighthearted fun and I think a lot of reviewers are taking a comedy waaaay too seriously and missing the point. Don't discount this movie based on reviews. Many reviewers just copy what other reviewers say--the "leming" syndrome. Go see if for yourself. It's nothing deep, but it's good clean fun with NO insulting remarks about female body parts/functions. Next time, let's see reviewers come down on THOSE movies. /soapbox
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I just got back from seeing it and it was much better than I expected. I think people should go see this movie for themselves to decide whether or not they like it because I think it was entertaining and I'm usually very picky about chick flicks (Fool's Gold was one of the most awful movies I have ever seen, for one thing). I have to agree with the rating People magazine gave for this movie (2 1/2 out of 4 stars) over Buzz's rating. Maybe it's because I'm not a super-feminist person but I thought it was just an enjoyable, fun movie. And I'm not the type of person who has planned out their wedding day from the time they were 6 years old...
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 8 years
It was okay. I dragged my dad to it. We had times when we laughed. I enjoyed it only because I love weddings so much. But I wish there was more of the wedding planning. And I always saw Van from Reba when I saw Liv's guy. It was better than sitting at home on a friday night and my dad and I bond when it comes to chick flicks! It won't win any awards but it was a nice brainless movie.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
This movie seems like it could be funny, but it was probably not executed well and the trailer wasn't even funny. I'll still seeing it tonight though because I hope it will actually surprise me (but it probably won't).
Deidre Deidre 8 years
This movie makes me so sad for Anne Hathaway.
wren1 wren1 8 years
Just what I thought--bad. I've seen the trailers so many times that I feel like I've seen the movie at this point. Skipping this one!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I hope this tanks, I hope no one sends the message to Hollywood that what women want is a movie about materialistic, catty, petty women who care more about their "big day" than their friendships, jobs and relationships. Sorry, but I don't consider myself "dead" until my big day, women are worth more than this. If you want to see a good wedding movie with Anne Hathaway, "Rachel at the Wedding" is still in theaters, I think. And it was really good, I cried, and there is a gorgeous wedding/love in it if you just want to watch some wedding porn without blowing your brains out.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
I still want to see it. It was a rental from the start for me, so I was never gonna go watch it at the theater, but yea, I'm still interested.
lizzylu49 lizzylu49 8 years
I think I'm still going to see it this weekend. My friend is trying on dresses tomorrow, so its kind of a wedding-themed weekend. I'm not expecting it to be great, but then again, I'm really not concerned about what this movie means for female/wedding stereotypes.
jenks88 jenks88 8 years
even the trailer with hudson yelling "my hair's blue! blue" annoyed me so much i had to turn my tv off. that said, I'll probably still watch it on dvd.
emalove emalove 8 years
I usually HATE movies like this though and avoid them at all costs...I am so not a fan of the "chick flick". At ALL. However, I will pretty much watch anything that Anne is in, I think she's so cute. I am sure it is predictable in every way though.
Kalliefornia Kalliefornia 8 years
Wow, I'm sad everyone is so negative about this as I was really excited to go see it. I mean, I wasn't expecting something uber deep, just a girly movie about weddings. I'll probably still end up going to see it though.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Oh man, what a disappointment. :( You've saved me a few bucks!
esweet esweet 8 years
I will probably go see it, only because some of the movie was filmed in my building - they sublet one of the floors from my firm. I thought that was pretty cool.
Myst Myst 8 years
It's a good thing I hate "girly" movies about weddings and such. Thanks Buzz. I was planning on adding this on my Netflix list, but I'll guess I'll refrain from that too.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
After all the rumors about them not getting along, it's hard to buy them as friends.
mareepossa mareepossa 8 years
OK, thanks Buzz for the detailed review. I'll be putting this on my "movies to see on DVD" list.
teagirl teagirl 8 years
Ouch! I never get why so many pointless movies get produced either.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
The trailers irritate me to no end, it's a ridiculous premise and just another soulless movie that Hollywood pumps out, thinking "Well this is the kind of movie women want!" No no no no NO. Just because it's about weddings doesn't mean the women will flock to see it, especially when you make the "bestest of friends" friendship less important than having an outrageously over-the-top princess dream wedding, and the wtwo main characters are so petty and immature that they would destroy their friendship and turn into horrific bridezillas just to get their way. Hollywood thinks this is what women are interested in seeing? I hope the women of America refuse to see this, so that it tanks in the box office and Hollywood gets the message: we deserve better movies than this!!
nancita nancita 8 years
The trailers for this movie infuriate me so much, I'm impressed that you managed for form such coherent thoughts in this review. Even if you put aside the offensive idea that two best friends would let this destroy their relationship, I hate movies where the whole premise could be fixed by one little thing -- in this case, moving the date of one of the weddings. Silly things like that keep me from just sitting back and enjoying a movie, especially one that looks as nauseating as this one.
JessNess JessNess 8 years
This movie looks HORRIBLE and does nothing for women but play into a stereotype that we are all batshit crazy and only care about having that perfect wedding dreamed of since the age of 6. I for one have never dreamed of my wedding and could care less about it
luckyme luckyme 8 years
I can pretty much guarantee that I will never see this movie.
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