- Rated PG-13
- Buy the BD
All photos © 20th Century Fox
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
f Katherine Heigl can score big at the box office in a wedding-themed comedy during a season best known for its cinematic duds, then surely so can bigger stars like Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. At least, that’s what 20th Century Fox is banking on when “Bride Wars” rolls into theaters, but while “27 Dresses” proved far better than expected, the studio’s latest wedding comedy regrettably lives up to the negative perception of its January release date. Most women will still want to see the film because, well, they’re the same people who keep shows like “Bridezillas” on the air, but if you do, enter with caution, because while “Bride Wars” may not be bad as some January fodder, it’s not very good either.
The two actresses star as Liv (Hudson) and Emma (Hathaway), childhood best friends who have been planning their weddings since they were little girls. When they both get engaged to their boyfriends within a matter of days, they rush to wedding planner Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen) to secure their dream venue: New York’s Plaza Hotel. After a clerical error books both weddings on the same day, the two friends refuse to alter their plans, instead choosing to engage in bridal warfare by sabotaging each other’s wedding. None of their friends are willing to take sides, and when both women are forced to select relative strangers as their maid of honor – Liv chooses her assistant Kevin (Michael Arden) and Emma picks fellow teacher Deb (Kristen Johnston) – it marks the beginning of the end of their perfect day.
There are quite a few romantic comedies being made these days that cater just as much to the men being dragged to the movie as they do to the females doing the dragging, but “Bride Wars” is not one of them. Unlike recent films like “27 Dresses” and “Definitely, Maybe,” none of the male characters are especially strong, or for that matter, even remotely important to the story. Liv’s fiancé doesn’t even seem to have a mind of his own (so much so that he concedes control over everything including the proposal), while Emma’s fiancé isn’t allowed to have any kind of opinion on the bride war lest he be labeled the bad guy of the relationship. In the end, they’re just the window dressing of these women’s lives, and it only further accentuates the fact that both Liv and Emma are actually quite unlikable people.
So unlikable, in fact, that it’s hard to really care about what happens to either one. They go from best friends to enemies so fast that they come out looking like total bitches, and to make matters worse, none of their juvenile sabotaging is even the least bit funny. Anne Hathaway has certainly shown in the past that she’s better than this (look no further than last year's "Rachel Getting Married"), while Kate Hudson’s participation is yet another failed attempt at reclaiming her former glory as the romantic comedy go-to girl. Neither one is as much to blame as the writer-director team of Greg DePaul and Gary Winick, though, who have as much business making a movie about women getting married as a female filmmaker would have making a movie like “Superbad.” That isn’t meant to be sexist, but they always say to write what you know, and these two guys clearly know nothing about weddings. At least, nothing that would make the average moviegoer laugh, anyway.
Three-Disc Blu-Ray Review:
The color blue plays a big role in weddings, but who knew it could have a double meaning? After all, that’s the way you’re probably going to feel when you unwrap the DVD release of “Bride Wars” to discover that the extras consist of a paltry three minutes of deleted scenes and a commercial for Vera Wang’s fashion empire. Thankfully, Blu-ray owners won't feel quite as betrayed with the HD release, because it also includes an additional four minutes of deleted scenes, a short featurette on the Plaza Hotel, and interviews with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. Rounding out the set is a funny behind-the-scenes look at the men of "Bride Wars," a pop-up trivia track that details wedding traditions and the costs of the various expenses for the average wedding, and finally, a DVD and digital copy of the film.