Published Jan 09, 2009Initially presented as a mockery of the monstrous lengths women will go to in order to fulfil some chiffon-laden fantasy of a symbolically muddled proprietary agreement, Bride Wars inevitably winds up embracing the very industry and stereotypes it attempts to mock by implying that no woman is complete without a designer wedding for their girlfriends to envy.
The entire ordeal is so flat, formulaic and sexist that only the dourest of calorie-counting Sex in the City crones will get through this one without flipping the bird at the theatre screen and demanding that a fourth-wave feminist movement start immediately. This movement pointing out that empowerment does not come from starting a catfight with a girlfriend to adopt an antiquated and perverse form of identity.
The rom-com formula shifts into gear when lifelong best friends Liv (Kate Hudson), a tough-as-nails attorney, and Emma (Anne Hathaway), a more passive, meek schoolteacher, find their friendship interrupted when their wedding planner (Candice Bergen) books both of their weddings at the Plaza Hotel, their dream locale, on the same day.
As the Plaza apparently has only one date available ever, the pair become mortal enemies, slipping each other fattening foods and sabotaging fake tans, as Emma decides that she is going to stand up for herself for once in her life, much to the annoyance of Liv. It all steamrolls into an inevitable catfight and some dreadfully insincere life lessons with clichéd best friends (Kristen Johnson, Michael Arden) in tow for the occasional bout of exposition along the way.
Truth be told, there are a couple of minor snickers to be had, which come mostly from the astonishment that something slightly less predictable than everything preceding has happened, but these moments are few and far between. For the most part, Bride Wars offers up an embarrassing follow-up to Hathaway's award-winning performance in Rachel Getting Married and yet another train wreck for Hudson to plunk onto her already waning resume.