Kevin's Review: Bride Wars - Love is a Shallow Battlefield
by Kevin Powers
January 9, 2009
A wedding is usually one of the hardest passages a couple can expect to weather in a relationship. Having just gone through one myself, I can readily attest. But you don't expect that trial to hold true for best friends -- that is unless said friends plan simultaneous dream weddings at New York City's Plaza Hotel. Such is the premarital pickle confronting Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) when wedding planner extraordinaire Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen) manages to botch the bookings. While the ensuing shenanigans are fun at times, Bride Wars tries to craft meaning out of marzipan, creating a spectacle that is at best a saturated imitation, and through sugary cliché, all around bad for you.
As children, BFFs Liv and Emma come across a wedding at the famed Plaza Hotel. Instantly, the fraternal hair twins marry the idea of nuptials like that for themselves one day. Fast forward to adulthood and Liv is an effortlessly wealthy lawyer and Emma a humble elementary school teacher, each with their own uninteresting boyfriends. When Emma becomes engaged, Liv, in typical overachiever style, smells competition and corners her beau into proposing early. The two enjoy a fleeting camaraderie until it becomes clear they're both competing for the same, solitary wedding slot at the Plaza. Neither are willing to budge, and a passive aggressive battle ensues.
It's true that some of the stunts pulled in Wars are humorous at times, such as when Liv sabotages Emma's visit to the tanning salon or when a hasty wedding announcement is sent. Underlying this horsing-around, however, are some pretty ugly hues of jealously, greed and materialism. Emma has a modest job, but saves for 16 years for the perfect wedding. Liv picks up a Vera Wang dress as if she was buying socks. This isn't a movie to get excited about weddings, because the high-cost, altered reality here leaves little to relate. The grandeur of Sex and the City is one thing, but the glitz and obsessiveness for the perfect Plaza ceremony manifested in these quarreling kittens is quite another.
Often in a story like this there are crumbs of redemption and good feelings to leave the theater with, but not in Bride Wars. In the end, the pair's behavior and a particularly awkward turn at the end decimates any to-go feelings of love and friendship. So what you're left with his a shallow Jerry Springer-like spectacle that is quickly forgotten, but marginally enjoyed because of how distant it is from reality. That, and Anne Hathaway. I find trying to dislike Hathaway as difficult as trying to fail PE in school. I can't if I try, even if she is scaring husbands-to-be and putting dangerous thoughts into impressionable minds of young girls. Hating on Hudson is another story. Like her last few movies, Wars is another blimp on her growing, unimpressive resume. The movie as a whole obviously doesn't help, and neither does starring opposite Hathaway. In the battle between the two leads, Hathaway clearly comes out top. Fittingly, at one point in the film Emma says, "I'm literally running circles around." I couldn't have said it better.
Films about weddings are undoubtedly full of extravagance and a focus on "stuff", but many just manage to skirt around completely selling off all of their feeling. Bride Wars divorces itself from any emotional material, and is purely focused on material emotion. While the film strives for feeling and relevance on friendship and marriage, it ironically butchers both with its slimy methods.
Reader Feedback - 19 Comments
Not to be sexist but have you guys thought about hiring a female movie reviewer. I just feel like a guy wouldn't enjoy this movie very much no matter what happened or who was in it. Besides I'm pretty sure the target demographic was women anyway. I don't know I'm rambling now. It was just a thought.
Mr. Wizard on Jan 9, 2009
Well Geee.... who cares, I know my wife will be dragging me to see this crap. There is a reason why this kind of crap is successeful.
Shige on Jan 9, 2009
I think that this movie portrays women as catty and backstabbing with getting married as our only possible goal. So i agree with kevin that it does no favors for my gender. I know that just from the previews and I for one will not add to that and will not be seeing this trash.
Lola on Jan 9, 2009
what the heck did they do to Kate Hudson's face in the poster? That doesn't even look like her.
James on Jan 9, 2009
Kate Hudson needs to lose the bangs and her photoshop expert for the poster. Also, I loved the "BFF" phrase Kevin. 😉
Will S. on Jan 9, 2009
i went and watched it with my girlfriend and she looked at me with an "i'm sorry" sort of look after this movie ended. Sure, it had some laughs in it, but it makes no sense, that ending seems terribly put together. Like if they had a deadline and just decided to butcher any plot left in it, if there was any to begin with. Also wasn't there a messed up dress in the trailer? Is FOX cutting more stuff from its movies? I hope they don't ruin Watchmen.
Herb on Jan 10, 2009
I agree with #1...and #2. This movie was pretty awful and I'm really surprised that Kate and Anne didn't use better judgment when signing on.
janet on Jan 10, 2009
I also agree with Kevin and also with #1. Not all of us chicks are like this when it comes to weddings (thank God). Shoot...there is only one thing I want for my wedding..a black, silver stripped, Hemi engine Challenger so my husband and I can pull a burnout as we leave the receiption. Hmm..maybe I am a bit obsessive..LOL! 😉
Bry from Chi on Jan 10, 2009
I think 3 out of 10 is pretty generous. I saw this in front of a whole SOLDOUT crowd and there was barely ANY laughs. THE UNBORN (which I saw just before this) got more laughs than this did (literally).
Ryan on Jan 10, 2009
Awww...I really liked it. It was a good chick flick. People just need to sit down and enjoy a movie without analyzing, thinking, and criticizing so much. :/
Andrea on Jan 11, 2009
I just saw this movie and LOVED it. You know this is a chick flick and they all have the same "happily ever after" premise. This is not a new concept. If you don't like this genre, send someone else, without a chip on their shoulder, to review it. Regarding the ending, come in folks, it's a sequal in the making. So if you go, don't over think it, expect to be entertained and walk away happy, I did.
Christine on Jan 11, 2009
My wife took me to see this one. Kevin is on point with this review. The movie was absolutely terrible, but true in some ways. Go figure.
Will on Jan 12, 2009
It's a chick flick and will be viewed by chicks, despite what men have to say. Who cares about plot! Girls, we just want to see backstabbing, catfighting and hilarity. You can't analyze a chick flick, because that's not what we want, nor care for. And, here's news for ya, Hollywood rarely pushes out anything that's any good these days.
Narkness on Jan 14, 2009
I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kate on Jan 19, 2009
Wedding is very big decision of life. It is the promise of living whole life with each other. It is agreement of love not forcefully.
designer jewellery on Mar 11, 2010
Most brides that I photograph certainly wear white, cream or ivory. One bride in a vivid red dress did look stunning. But for colours, the traditional muslim or Indian wedding gowns that I have covered win hands down. The make-up is also utterly amazing for colours.
Timeshare Pages on Mar 30, 2010
Brides war is an awesome movie. I like both the bride and the concept behind this. I really like this movie a lot.
high quality website templates on Apr 4, 2010
this movie was great and i enjoyed it very much
Wonder_889 on Apr 19, 2011
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