Movie Review: Bride Wars (2009)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2009 comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson.

Synopsis: Ever since attending at wedding at the Plaza Hotel 20 years earlier, best friends Olivia and Emma have been planning their own dream weddings at the same venue with plans to serve as each others' maid of honor. When they both become engaged at the same time, it seems as though their dream will come true. However, when a clerical error causes both of their weddings to be scheduled for the same date and, since neither refuses to give up their reservation, the quickly become each others' worse enemy.

Who's In It?

Review

When this movie first came out in 2009, I looked at the trailer and thought it would be a horrible film. However, I wound up reluctantly watching it with my wife when it first came out on DVD and, to my surprise, I found I liked it. As it turns out, I came across this film again a couple days ago, while my wife was at dance with our youngest daughter. And, after seeing it again, I found I still enjoyed it.

Even though there is part of me that thinks the whole "perfect wedding day" concept sounds a bit dated (even though my wife disagrees), there are a lot of things about this film I found I enjoyed. One of the big ones was the way Olivia (Hudson) and Emma (Hathaway) let their feud escalate at a fairly slow pace. This allowed the more extreme measures they take against each other to have a larger impact while, at the same time, allowed time for them to reflect on what they were doing and maybe even feel a little regret.

Another thing I liked about this movie was the way the two would-be husbands (Pratt and Howey) weren't the same one-dimensional male characters I've seen in way too many similar movies. They even seemed to have some sort of real impact on the movie (again, a rarity in films like this), sometimes in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way. As a guy, I'm a big fan of movies that at least try to do something like this.

I also have to say I was very impressed with Bergen's wedding-planner role, mostly because it was a character that turned out not to be as predictable as I thought she would be. I figured she would wind up being the bad guy in all of this, pitting the two friends against each other in an effort to make more money. But, instead, there were times when she was the lone cool head in all of it and I loved how she managed to remain professional despite all the drama.

My only real complaint about the film is there are some parts of it that still managed to be somewhat predictable. For example, when Emma ran into Olivia's brother (Bryan Greenberg) it wasn't hard to figure out there was something between the two of them that would eventually come into play. And, as a result of that, the ending really wasn't anything overly impressive because there wasn't anything about it that was a surprise. Fortunately, I do think the overall movie did just enough to compensate for that.

Final Opinion

This isn't the type of movie I would normally make an effort to watch, especially without my wife. But, I did enjoy it and would recommend it.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 12/14/2018, StevenHelmer
 
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