Instead of centering on the couple, love, and commitment, why not make marriage about competition and female stereotypes? Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) battle in <em>Bride Wars</em>.

Instead of centering on the couple, love, and commitment, why not make marriage about competition and female stereotypes? Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) battle in Bride Wars.

Bride Wars

Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, and Candice Bergen star in a film written by Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson, and June Diane Raphael, and directed by Gary Winick.

In this era of the bromance-stories about non-sexual but unusually close relationships between two straight men-Bride Wars seems like an innovation: a romantic comedy that focuses not on a rivalry between two would-be brides or grooms for the affection of a life partner, but on the friendship and conflict between two brides-to-be. Alas, despite some humorous moments, Bride Wars is an awkward agglomeration of ill-fitting parts that manages, just for good measure, to throw in every tired Hollywood stereotype about women.

Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson), best friends since childhood, have both nurtured lifelong fantasies of getting married at New York’s Plaza Hotel (not to each other, although that might have made for a more interesting movie). When they become engaged in the same week, they agree to be each other’s maids of honor and kick things into high gear to make their dream weddings come true. But when a scheduling mix-up has them both getting married at the Plaza on the same day, each bride refuses to change dates or venues, instead embarking on a vicious campaign to sabotage the other’s wedding. Can the friendship-and the nuptials-survive?

Hathaway proves particularly adept at physical comedy, and Hudson’s Type A bossiness is amusing, but the other characters are cliches (the female friends desperate to meet a man) or non-entities (the respective grooms are barely developed). Candice Bergen as the snooty wedding planner is mostly wasted; though Michael Arden has a funny turn as the young law firm associate Liv presses into service as her maid of honor after Emma bails on her. The film alternates between mean-spiritedness and treacly sentiment, and the romantic switcheroo it pulls at the end involving Emma and her fiance-although a standard romantic comedy device-seems completely contrived. Then again, what can you expect from a movie that asks us to believe that young women start saving for their weddings at 16, or that educated, employed women follow the work of a wedding planner the way others admire authors or athletes?

For showtimes, check the Independent's movie listings, here.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Cannabis Farmer Gets over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.