I’ve never thought of myself as a feminist sympathizer. I usually don’t get bogged down with any discussions of sexism or racism because I feel that we are all products of our own design and we don’t have anyone to blame for our predicaments but ourselves. However, even I have to admit that there are societal pressures put on women that aren’t put on men and I’m reminded of the insensitivity of Hollywood when I watch drivel like BRIDE WARS.
We start our adventure with two little girls dreaming of getting married and finding that special someone to take care of them forever. Like I said, this is not a film for any self-respecting woman and it goes downhill from here. We then flash forward to present day where one of those women (Emma, played by Anne Hathaway) is a school teacher and the other (Liv, played by Kate Hudson) is a high powered lawyer. Both of these jobs are very respectable, but leave it to these filmmakers to make a mockery of both. According to this movie, a woman can have a respectable career, but once it starts to interfere with her relationship, she must abandon it to focus on her love life.
We know from the beginning that both of them dream of getting married in June at the Plaza. As luck would have it, they both get engaged at the same time, they both hire the same wedding planner, and that planner happened to have two June dates available. But things go awry when that planner screws up and books them on the same date.
This is where the comedy ensues…or should have ensued. They trade barbs back and forth as they try to derail each other’s wedding, but overall they’re pretty tame. If you’re going to pit two best friends against each other, you have to go all out. Imagine if your best friend in the world all of a sudden became your worst enemy. Imagine all of the horrible things you could do because you know them so well. Well, none of that happens here and even the event that pushes them to fisticuffs was a bit of a letdown.
Things get worse when Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson and June Dinae Raphael (screenwriters) try to work in a last second character arc for Emma. During the last 20 minutes, she goes from being a happy pushover to being a wild girl, questioning her marriage. And then they try to make her fiancée out to be some kind of jerk, even though they spent the entire first part of the film making him look like the world’s greatest guy. It was too little, too late and at this point, the audience is just waiting for there to be some kind of resolution to the ridiculous events that have just played out. Of course, all of this could have been forgiven if the film was funny, cute or had some redeeming qualities.
I probably like romantic comedies more than most guys. They can be cheesy, but there’s something nice about watching people find love, even if it is sandwiched between impossible circumstances. But BRIDE WARS is not a romantic comedy and it goes out of its way to offend its target audience. Despite the talent and beauty of Hudson and Hathaway, the script was nowhere near where it should have been to make this even remotely enjoyable.