Bride Wars (2/10)
by Tony Medley
Not for children.
I started hating this movie after about 10
minutes when Liv (Kate Hudson) rushes into a room full of girls,
shouting “I’m engaged,” as if that was the only thing with which anyone
in the world was concerned. It went downhill from there.
Liv and Emma (Anne Hathaway) have been best
friends for life for 20 years. When they were young (I don’t know how
they could act any younger than they do at 26, but we’re talking
chronological age here), they saw a wedding at the Plaza Hotel and
decided that their life’s ambition was to get married at the Plaza.
They are both already living with their boy
friends and sleeping together, so why Liv should be so ecstatically
excited about “getting married” is somewhat puzzling. In more moral
times, living together was called “living in sin,” but now, in
Hollywood films, anyway, it’s
Lots of people do it and lots of people have babies born out of wedlock,
which causes all sorts of societal problems. I think that the fact that
films encourage this sort of activity is a big reason why it becomes
more and more prevalent. This ho-hum attitude towards sexual morality
imposes on its viewers is not without serious consequences.
As to the men in this movie, they are little
more than afterthoughts, characters needed for the plot, but best
neither seen nor heard. Daniel (Steve Howey) is Liv’s live-in and Nate
(Bryan Greenberg) lives with Emma.
Forget the two leads.
Hudson has the most
beautiful smile in the business, but she has yet to see material that
tests her. For my money, Hathaway was the only part of “The Devil Wears
Prada” (2006) that didn’t hold up. She’s better here, but the material
is so dismal that it’s unfair to judge her. The only reasonable
performance is given by Candice Bergen, who plays the wedding planner,
Marion. Kristen Johnston, who plays Deb, a woman Emma deplores, but who
agrees to be her Maid of Honor is appropriately hateful and
Bergen is appropriately
over-bearing. But calling any performance in this film “best” is a
left-handed compliment, at, well, best. Candice does her best to carry
the film, but it's not nearly enough.
So Liv and Emma set their wedding dates, but
it turns out that they are identical. This causes them to hate one
another and pull all sorts of cruel stunts on one another. That two
people who were such good friends could be so cruel and hateful to one
another is more childish than humorous.
One of the big points of the film is a product
placement for Vera Wang wedding dresses. Vera should have seen the
script before she signed up for this.
I can’t believe that women in their 20s are
this insubstantial. Just as an example for how out to lunch this movie
is, is epitomized by Liv’s profession. She is represented as a real,
hard-as-nails attorney, a top negotiator. Yet when she’s presented the
wedding contract to sign with
Marion, she doesn’t read one
word. She just turns the pages until she gets to the signature page and
signs it. Yeah, that’s a real hardnosed attorney. Believe me, I was such
a hard nosed negotiator as a corporate attorney they called me Attila
the Hun. That was years ago. I still read everything anyone puts before
me to sign. That’s something that is so ingrained in any business
attorney that no matter how much she wanted to get married and have
represent her, she would still read the contract (and make lots of
Gary Winick directed “13 Going on 30” (2004),
a film that I found surprisingly entertaining. He’s going in the wrong
direction with this.
Greg DePaul has a “screenwriter, story by”
credit, but what does a man know about two women (at least that must be
what producer Hudson
thought)? So Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael, both best friends for
life, were brought in to bring this thing to its fruition as a
quintessential chick flick. Any man who likes this needs a series of
double dose shots of testosterone, along with a new brain. I find it
hard to believe that any woman would find it more enjoyable than
January 8, 2009