I almost choked on my popcorn while watching Bride Wars. It wasn’t because every other minute I was laughing and kernels kept getting lodged in my throat. Nope, it was because I couldn’t believe I was witnessing Anne Hathaway follow up her acclaimed work in Rachel Getting Married with such a terrible performance in such a horrible movie. A movie like this is meant for an actress like Kate Hudson . . .
As we’re led to believe both ladies are the bestest of friends since childhood. Liv (Hudson) is a high-powered attorney and Emma (Hathaway) is a demure middle-school teacher. And even though their personalities are polar opposites to one another, they both share the dream of getting married in June at the Plaza Hotel. But friendships be damned when wedding planner Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen) screws up and double books both of the girls nuptials for the same time and date. The horror! So in true comedy fashion, instead of just having a double ceremony (they are BFF after all) or having one draw the short straw and pick a new date, Liv and Emma decide they must square off and battle for the coveted slot.
However, unlike true comedy fashion, nothing that ensues in their prolonged cat fight is funny. It boils down to a tedious tit-for-tat exercise for 14-year old girls — you trick me into dying my hair blue, I’ll trick you into turning you’re skin orange. I’ll tell everyone you are pregnant, you show everyone footage from my bachelorette party. Weddings are supposed to be a fun occasion — are we having fun yet?
Making it all worse (I didn’t believe it was possible either) is the lack of an endearing bone in any of the characters bodies. Liv is a bitch, plain and simple — no one in their right mind should like her. Emma, as Bride Wars develops, finds her backbone, morphs into a bitch and becomes unlikable. The husbands-to-be? Well, let’s just say they have absolutely no input whatsoever and could therefore be swapped out with wet mops (they need something to do since Swiffer has taken their action) without anyone noticing the change. The few others enlisted to help the girl’s campaigns — Michael Arden as Liv’s personal assistant and Kristen Johnston as Emma’s coworker — are little more than a few well placed one-liners.
Had the trio of writers (Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson, June Diane Raphael) gotten a bit “dirtier” with the pranks and edgier with the dialogue, I believe Bride Wars would have fared better. The desire for a PG rating has left the film with a very uninspired feel to it — a movie like this just doesn’t work without there being some unexpected sucker punches to the kidneys thrown. The missed opportunities are countless.
But hey, they say weddings make girls act crazy — in extreme cases they can lose all sense of judgement and reasoning. Why it made the financing studio delusional is beyond my comprehension though. This very limp feature belongs as, at most, a twenty minute MTV show alongside My Super Sweet 16, not as the full length movie presented here. Just think, they can then give air-time to real snobby girls as they outlay how they worked feverishly to ruin their best friend’s wedding. Oh the possibilities!