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DVD Review

DVD cover

Bride Wars


Starring: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen and Chris Pratt
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 18 May 2009

Liv and Emma are lifelong friends both of who dream of getting married at the Plaza in June. Now as grown women it looks like they are both about to get their hearts desire, until a mix-up means that their weddings are double booked, so one of them will have to move their date and location, but which one...?

Bride Wars (2009 - 1 hr, 25 min, 17 sec) is a light comedy directed by Gary Winick from a screenplay by Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael. The film stars Kate Hudson (You, Me and Dupree (2006)) as Liv and Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Brokeback Mountain (2005)) as Emma with Candice Bergen playing the supporting role of the wedding planner, Marion St. Claire, who stands precariously between her two clients.

The film sets up the level of importance which both women have invested in their wedding. Liv is a school teacher and Emma a lawyer, both have been saving and mentally planning for their weddings for the last ten years, but once the girls discover that their weddings will be on the same day their friendship quickly turns into confrontation and competition.

With the plot set up the rest of the film is pretty much a by the numbers affair. So the girls do what they can to sabotage each other, including sending each other fattening foods, swapping dance tutors, attempt to spy on each other’s plans... most audiences could pretty much write their own script for most of the film. The script has some amusing moments, but few that are really funny. It’s no surprise that the film feels like a ‘paint by numbers’ affair, given that it took three writers to come up with the plot, it certainly coasts along with little challenge, just the sort of thing that you would expect from a film written by a committee.

The three main female stars do what they can with such a sparse script; Anne Hathaway is full on strident throughout, but Kate Hudson coasts along in her portrayal. Do we actually care about what happens to these characters? Unfortunately not, as they are written as airheads, which is in total contrast with the occupations which they are supposed to have: Lawyer and Teacher. Gary Winick provides pedestrian direction which is in keeping with both the pedestrian script and acting. The males in the film do little except act as sounding boards for the girls, or to turn up at appropriate moments to further the plot. There is one actress which does make an impact, Kristen Johnson (3rd Rock from the Sun) is the comic highlight of the film, playing the obnoxious Deb.

The disc has nothing in the way of extras, although there is an extensive list on the PR sheet, so I'll list them, but cannot pass comment on either their quality or length. Supposedly the finished disc will have seven deleted and two improvised scenes and seven featurettes. The review disc is presented in full screen with a 5.1 audio track and options for an English, Italian and Spanish audio track with subtitles.

Ultimately this is a light and fluffy film, not so awful that you would turn it off, but not so good that you would watch this very average fare more than once.


Charles Packer

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