Bride Wars (2009)
Hudson & Hathaway's Wedding Plaza Palava
Your wedding's gonna be huge, just like your ass at prom - Emma
"Bride Wars" is not a bad movie but then it's not a good one either, it's just another distinctly average, very uninspiring romantic comedy which is so obvious that with the exception of one minor twist towards the end you know exactly how it will play out. From the minute we meet Liv and Emma as children falling in love with the idea of having a wedding at the Plaza Hotel everything which is to follow, as they end up trying to sabotage each others weddings is purely predictable. Even the various sabotage attempts are so highly telegraphed that few, barely a couple achieve the laughs they expect. But whilst very obvious "Bride Wars" is easy to watch, requiring no effort to follow and whilst not amusingly memorable is entertaining in the moment.
Ever since childhood Liv (Kate Hudson - Fool's Gold) and Emma (Anne Hathaway - Get Smart) have been best friends and they've always dreamt that when their big days come they will get married at the Plaza hotel. So when they both find themselves becoming engaged both become excited that they will both end up getting married at the Plaza, except a mix up at the wedding planners means that they are both due to be married on the same day. With both so desperate to have their dream wedding day things get nasty as they try to sabotage each others weddings and humiliate each other in the process.
Now as storylines go "Bride Wars" doesn't really push the boat out and feels all a little cliche. When we enter the movie with childhood friends Liv and Emma falling in love with the idea of getting married at the Plaza hotel it all feels very familiar and in a way reminiscent of the opening to "27 Dresses". And once the set up is out of the way with the best friends discovering that through a mix up are going to both be married at the Plaza on the same day it becomes a case of one sabotage scene after another. And of course whilst the majority of the movie is all about trying to ruin the others wedding you know that by the end that Liv and Emma will put their issues aside and be best friends once again. With the exception of a twist towards the end, and not that much of a surprising twist at that, everything about "Bride Wars" is obvious.
Of course we are meant to laugh at all the wedding sabotage going on so when Liv ends up changing the spray tan and turning Emma into a baked bean it is suppose to make us laugh. And when Emma swaps the hair dye and Liv ends up with blue hair, yes we are meant to laugh. But to be frank these attempts to be funny are not really that funny and between feeling very familiar and going on much longer than needed very few end up being that funny. Ironically it is more amusing watching the boyfriends try to deal with Liv and Emma's falling out than the various sabotage scenes.
And like with the humour being also familiar the characters and the performances are just as familiar. Now Kate Hudson as Liv and Anne Hathaway as Emma are both likeable but the characters could have been plucked out of any number of romantic comedies and so fail to really be that memorable. In fact it is the various men who end up being more memorable from Chris Pratt as Fletcher, Steve Howey as Daniel and Bryan Greenberg who plays Liv's brother Nate and that is purely down to them having the more original and funnier scenes. And sadly the wonderful Candice Bergman who plays Marion St. Claire the wedding planner is seriously under used despite delivering some quite cheesy narration about the two best friends and their wedding.
What this all boils down to is that "Bride Wars" ends up a rather unmemorable and distinctly average romantic comedy. Everything about it is both obvious and familiar and as such whilst it is filled with humour very few of the jokes end up being that funny especially when you can see them coming a mile off. Basically fun to watch in the moment but won't knock your socks off for being either funny or memorable.
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