out of Five
Running time: 90
Watchable comedy, enlivened by strong performances from Hudson and Hathaway and a decent script that isn't afraid to make the central friendship the most important relationship in the movie.
What's it all about?
Directed by Gary Winick (13 Going On 30), Bride Wars stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as Liv and Emma, two childhood best friends who've grown up with a shared vision of their dream wedding: a June ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York. When both their boyfriends (Chris Pratt and Steve Howey) propose, the pair are delighted and head straight for the wedding planner (Candice Bergen), but their happiness is cut short when a clerical error results in both their weddings being booked for the same day.
When it becomes obvious that neither of them is going to cave in and switch dates, the gloves come off, resulting in an escalating series of pranks that threatens to completely destroy their friendship.
The performances are excellent: Hathaway is adorable as the put-upon schoolteacher who decides to put her foot down for once, while Hudson gives her funniest performance to date as the no-nonsense lawyer who's used to getting her own way. There's also strong comic support from Kristen Johnston (as Emma's work-shy colleague and back-up maid of honour) and the always reliable Bergen.
There are some great gags scattered throughout the film, but the biggest laughs come from Hathaway's goofy performance, especially when she gatecrashes Liv's bachelorette party and initiates a drunken dance-off. It's also refreshing to see a wedding-themed comedy that makes the friendship between the two women the most important relationship in the film (the boyfriends are played by unknowns and barely get a look-in).
Unfortunately, the trailer gives away not only the funniest pranks but also the climax of the film. Similarly, you can't help feeling that some of the sting has been taken out in pursuit of a PG certificate.
Bride Wars is an enjoyable comedy with a decent script and likeable performances from its two leads. Worth seeing.
Bride Wars (PG)