Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: 7 Deleted scenes – including a new opening scene, Nat & Liv in Central Park, Class Project, Pregnancy phone tree, One-two punch, Blue Hair & bedazzler, Liz finds bedazzled dress; Two improvised scenes – Amanda’s wedding speech, Liv at Tanhatten; Featurettes including: Meet me at the Plaza; The perfect white dress; In character with Kate Hudson; In character with Anne Hathaway; Mad Den; Maid of honour; Amanda-Cam.
THERE are two ways to watch Bride Wars – but only one of them is likely to leave you feeling remotely content afterwards.
Firstly, you could take it as a superb insight into the madness of weddings… Or you could, as director Gary Winick would like, view it as a humorous tale of friendship overcoming insurmountable odds. The former option may give rise to some perverse pleasure, but the latter is sure to leave you dispirited and wholly unsatisfied.
Bride Wars is, for the most part, a lame and often shrill comedy that’s populated by unpleasant characters, unnecessary product placement and phoney messages.
Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) are two best friends since childhood who are always there for each other… until, that is, they inadvertently find their weddings double booked on the same day at New York’s ultimate bridal destination – The Plaza Hotel.
The clash subsequently pits the two brides against each other in a competition that quickly escalates into all-out war, as each seeks to undermine the others chances of enjoying their big day.
To be fair, some of the one up-manship that takes place between Liv and Emma does give rise to the odd guilty laugh, while ruthlessly exposing the extraordinary lengths – and emphasis – placed on weddings by some women (now dubbed Bridezillas).
But there’s simply no escaping the fact that when all’s said and done, Winick’s film leaves you with no one to root for and is chronically short on that crazy little thing called love.
Hudson’s Liv is a self-obsessed, power hungry, uber-manipulator who could give Miss Piggy a run for her money in the annoying stakes, while Hathaway’s put-upon weakling is forced to find her inner bitch in order to really come out of her shell.
Their respective grooms barely get a look in, while friends, business colleagues and wedding co-ordinators are often as mean spirited or opinionated as the central duo themselves.
Worst of all, Winick seldom misses a trick for product placement, with everything from Apple to Bloomingdales getting prominent plugs.
Bride Wars does belatedly attempt to come over all sensible and sentimental in a desperate bid to allow its characters to realise the error of their ways – but even that feels contrived and half-hearted. It’s better to make your own vow not to see it.
Running time: 90mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: May 18, 2009